Home Appraisals: A Primer
Acquiring a home is the most significant transaction many could ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.
Practically all the people involved are very familiar. The most known person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.
So, what party is 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Landrea Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal starts
Our first duty at Landrea Appraisals is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They 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 real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Landrea Appraisals, we are an authority in knowing the worth of real estate features in Mechanicsburg and Cumberland County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly 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 applied when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in 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 approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. 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 valuePrices 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 typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Landrea Appraisals will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.