Making Sense of the Appraisal ProcessPurchasing real estate can be the most serious investment some of us may ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the deal. The title company ensures that all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser.
So what party is responsible for making sure the property is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. 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 professional Virginia licensed appraiser from Belanger Appraisals, Inc will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal beginsTo ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floor plan, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
Following the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Cost ApproachHere, we gather information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Paired Sales AnalysisAppraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachA third way of valuing a property is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom LineCombining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's market value There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price 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 the property would likely sell for in an open marketplace. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Belanger Appraisals, Inc will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.