An Overview of the Appraisal ProcessA home purchase can be the most serious financial decision many will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the financial capital needed to finance the exchange. Ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Florida licensed appraiser from East Central Appraisals LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal startsTo ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
After the inspection, we use 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.
Cost ApproachThis is where we use information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. We innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), 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 - we may use a third way of valuing a property. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom LineCombining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. 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 typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day: An appraiser from East Central Appraisals LLC will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.