Real Property Appraisals: A PrimerBuying a house is the largest financial decision some people could ever consider. Whether it's a primary residence, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.
Practically all the parties participating are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the transaction. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the exchange. The title company sees to it that all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.
So what party is 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 estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Kentucky licensed appraiser from Colliver Appraisal Service will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals start with the inspectionTo ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
Back at the office, 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.
Replacement CostThis is where we gather information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers get to know the communities in which they work. We thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom LineCombining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. 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 typically 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. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Colliver Appraisal Service will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.