A Description of the Appraisal Process
Buying real estate is the biggest investment some people might ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.
The majority of the people participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known person in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to fund the exchange. The title company makes sure that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer.
So who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Indiana licensed appraiser from American Valuation Group will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals begin with the home inspection
Our first task at American Valuation Group is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and describe the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Back at the office, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where we use information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. We innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.
After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third way of valuing a property is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.
Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's market value Depending on the individual situations of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down. But the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from American Valuation Group will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.