What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most important financial decision some will ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Most of the people participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known face in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to finance the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the sale 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 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 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.

Appraisals start with the inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Back at the office, 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.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to determine 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 method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. 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 home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • But, in the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At BK Appraisal Services, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Virginia Beach and Virginia Beach City County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down 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 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. Regardless, the appraised value is often 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 BK Appraisal Services will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

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