What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the biggest transaction many could ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to fund the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.

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

So, who makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with 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 Performance Appraisals Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first task at Performance Appraisals Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

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

Replacement Cost

Here, we use information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the people 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. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

In the end, 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 putting a value on features of homes in Ponte Vedra Beach and Saint Johns, Performance Appraisals Inc. can't be beat. This approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third way of valuing a property. 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 give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. 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'. But the appraised value is often employed 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 Performance Appraisals Inc. will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.