What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most significant financial decision some of us could ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money required to fund the transaction. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Butler Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, 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 illustrate the layout of the property, 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 house.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, 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.

A valid estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Butler Appraisals, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Perry and Dallas County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual 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 typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Butler Appraisals will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.