What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Buying real estate is the most significant transaction most will ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar person in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the financial capital needed to fund the exchange. The title company makes sure that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

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So, who makes sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from REMACE, LTD. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at REMACE, LTD. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, we gather information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly 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 communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable 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. At REMACE, LTD., we are experts in knowing the worth of particular items in York and York County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from REMACE, LTD. will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.