What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most significant investment many will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital required to finance the deal. And the title company makes sure that all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

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So, what party makes sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. 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 Laredo Appraisal Group, LLC. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly 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 subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional 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.

  • For example, if the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, 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 an 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. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Laredo and Webb, Laredo Appraisal Group, LLC. can't be beat. This approach to value is typically awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. 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 Laredo Appraisal Group, LLC. will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.