Making Sense of the Appraisal Process
Buying real estate is the most significant transaction some of us might ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.
Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the transaction. Next, the bank provides the money necessary to fund the transaction. The title company ensures that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser.
So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with 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 Northern Arizona Appraisal, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal starts
To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
Back at the office, we use 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.
Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Phoenix and Maricopa, Northern Arizona Appraisal, Inc. is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most consideration 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 method of valuing a house. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueIt'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'. But the appraised value is typically used 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Northern Arizona Appraisal, Inc. will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.