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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the largest financial decision many people will ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar person in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to bankroll the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.

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 Crest Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Back at the office, 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.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

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

A valid estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Seattle and King, Crest Appraisal Services is your local authority. This approach to value is typically given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

The Bottom Line

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific situations of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.But the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Crest Appraisal Services will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.