An Overview of the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase is the most important investment some could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex 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 recognizable face in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to finance the deal. And the title company sees to it that all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Capuano Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They innately 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 subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

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. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Bristow and Prince William, Capuano Appraisal Services, LLC is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional approach to value. In this case, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

The Bottom Line

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document 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 they could recover in the event they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Capuano Appraisal Services, LLC will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.