What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most important financial decision some people could ever consider. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the exchange. And the title company ensures that all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth 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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Joseph Mier & Associates will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain 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 Joseph Mier & Associates, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Hammond and Tangipahoa County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by similar properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Joseph Mier & Associates will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.