profile picture

English Spanish

Real Property Appraisals: A Primer

A home purchase can be the largest investment most may ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known person in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the transaction. And ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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 property is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 ASAP Appraisal Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at ASAP Appraisal Group is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

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

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 knowing the true worth of features of homes in Lakeland and Polk, ASAP Appraisal Group can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to determine 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 subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from ASAP Appraisal Group will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.