What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Buying real estate can be the most serious investment many of us might ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most of the people involved are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the transaction. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to finance the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, what party makes 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 estimate 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 Crowe Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the home inspection

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, we pull information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value commonly 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 communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 Oklahoma City and Oklahoma, Crowe Appraisals is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional approach to value. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining 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 what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueDepending 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.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 Crowe Appraisals will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.