Breaking Down the the Appraisal ProcessPurchasing a house can be the biggest transaction many of us could ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
Practically all the parties involved are quite familiar. The most familiar entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to finance the transaction. The title company ensures that all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.
So what party makes sure the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Indiana licensed appraiser from Smith & Connerley will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals start with the inspectionOur first task at Smith & Connerley is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Following the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Replacement CostThis is where we pull information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one 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.
Analyzing Comparable SalesAppraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. We thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, an additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third method of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of income the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom LineCombining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, 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'. Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Smith & Connerley will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.