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Comprehending Appraisals

Their home's purchase is the most serious transaction most of us might ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar person in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the financial capital needed to finance the exchange. And the title company ensures that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer.

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

So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. 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 Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first duty at Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC 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, and so on, to ensure they really are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, we analyze information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, additional 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.

  • If, for example, the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property 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. At Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC, we are an authority in knowing the worth of real estate features in Blackfoot and Bingham County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to determine the current value.

The Bottom Line

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. 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 Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.