Getting a house is the biggest financial decision some people may ever make. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known person in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the exchange. The title company sees to it that all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from BK Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty 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, amenities, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra 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.
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 BK Appraisal Services, we are experts in knowing the value of particular items in Virginia Beach and Virginia Beach City County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third way of valuing a property is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to determine the current value.
The Bottom Line
Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount 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 an offer or listing price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically employed 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 sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from BK Appraisal Services will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.
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