What are the components of an appraisal?
A home purchase can be the most significant transaction many people will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's a primary residence, a second vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.
You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to finance the exchange. The title company ensures that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.
So who's responsible for making sure the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? 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 professional California licensed appraiser from Scotco Appraisals will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Inspecting the subject propertyOur first duty at Scotco Appraisals is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Cost ApproachHere, the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. We innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachA third way of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
Arriving at a Value ConclusionCombining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's market value Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. 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 case they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Scotco Appraisals will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.