Understanding the Appraisal ProcessA home purchase can be the most significant financial decision many will ever make. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the transaction. The title company ensures that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.
So what party makes sure the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Virginia licensed appraiser from MaxAppraisals, LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Inspecting the subject propertyTo determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify 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: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Replacement CostThis is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Paired Sales AnalysisAppraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. We thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachA third way of valuing real estate is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.
Putting It All TogetherCombining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the best indication of what a house would sell for in an open market, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual 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 typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to: An appraiser from MaxAppraisals, LLC will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.