Acquiring real estate can be the most serious financial decision most of us might ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.
The majority of the parties participating are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.
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So, who makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from McCarthy Real Estate, Inc., Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal begins
To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. 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 truly exist and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. By assigning a dollar value to 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 portray the features of subject.
A valid 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 McCarthy Real Estate, Inc., Appraisal Services, we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in the local market areas. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.
Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state 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 what a property is worth. 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 the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from McCarthy Real Estate, Inc., Appraisal Services will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.