Making Sense of the Appraisal ProcessA home purchase is the largest transaction some may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
Practically all the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the money required to bankroll the exchange. Ensuring all details of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.
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 could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Kentucky licensed appraiser from Schoepf & Associates, Inc. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal beginsOur first responsibility at Schoepf & Associates, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, 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 affect the value of the property.
Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Cost ApproachHere, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable SalesAppraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. We innately 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 home being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third method of valuing real estate. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.
The Bottom LineAnalyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's value Prices can always 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 put the property on the market again. Here's what it all boils down to: An appraiser from Schoepf & Associates, Inc. will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.