What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most important transaction some of us will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the money required to bankroll the transaction. And the title company ensures that all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass 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, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion 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.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first duty at BK Appraisal Services is to inspect the property to determine its true status. 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 really are there and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where we use information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

A true estimate of what the subject could 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 is your local authority. This approach to value is most often awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional method of valuing a property. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueThere are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing 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 the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from BK Appraisal Services will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

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