An Overview of the Appraisal Process

Purchasing a home can be the most important investment some people will ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the money required to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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 real estate is consistent 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 BK Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are present and are in the condition 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, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

After the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, we use information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property 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 property.

  • For example, if the comparable property 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.

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 Virginia Beach and Virginia Beach City, BK Appraisal Services can't be beat. This approach to value is typically given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with income produced by similar properties to determine the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. It'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 often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from BK Appraisal Services will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.

Got a Question?

Do you have a question relating to real estate appraisals? We can help. Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you with the answer, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.

Information
Question