What goes into an appraisal?Purchasing real estate can be the most serious financial decision most people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.
Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money necessary to finance the exchange. The title company ensures that all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.
So what party makes sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Maryland licensed appraiser from D & S Appraisal Co. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal startsOur first duty at D & S Appraisal Co. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying 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 property.
Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Cost ApproachHere, we analyze information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable SalesAppraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to determine the current value.
The Bottom LineExamining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's market value 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 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. At the end of the day: An appraiser from D & S Appraisal Co. will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.