What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the biggest transaction many could ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Most of the people involved are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Next, the bank provides the money required to finance the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller 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, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? 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 Crowe Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the home inspection

Our first responsibility at Crowe Appraisals is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home 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.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter 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 true estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Crowe Appraisals, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Crowe Appraisals will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.