Real Property Appraisals: A Primer

Purchasing real estate is the largest financial decision many might ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the people involved are very familiar. The most recognizable person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money needed to finance the deal. And ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line 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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Medina Appraisal Company (330) 220-1700 will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often includes 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, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses 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 often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up 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 upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, in the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable 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 Brunswick and Medina, Medina Appraisal Company (330) 220-1700 is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to derive 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 property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. 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 typically employed 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Medina Appraisal Company (330) 220-1700 will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.