A Description of the Appraisal Process

Purchasing a home can be the biggest transaction some people could ever make. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known person in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to fund the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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So, what party makes sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from The Welter Appraisal Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first duty at The Welter Appraisal Group is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath 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. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Oakhurst and Monmouth, The Welter Appraisal Group can't be beat. This approach to value is typically awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific circumstances 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 employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from The Welter Appraisal Group will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.