Comprehending Appraisals

Acquiring a home can be the most important investment many people could ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the money required to bankroll the transaction. The title company ensures that all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser.

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 makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the purchase price? 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 Appraisals by Kana, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value usually 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 communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, 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 an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount 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 Appraisals by Kana, LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Lafayette and Lafayette County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes applied when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for 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 at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valuePrices 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 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 Appraisals by Kana, LLC will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.