Acquiring a home is the largest transaction many of us may ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
You're likely to be familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the transaction. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to bankroll the deal. And ensuring all areas of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So, who makes sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Appraisal Firm, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
Our first task at Appraisal Firm, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
After the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject 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 Melbourne and Brevard, Appraisal Firm, Inc. is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional method of valuing a house. In this situation, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.
Arriving at a Value Conclusion
Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it may 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'. But 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 Appraisal Firm, Inc. will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.