Understanding the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the most serious financial decision many people might ever make. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

The majority of the parties involved are very familiar. The most familiar face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to fund the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers 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 amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain 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 truly are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Metairie and Jefferson, Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed 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 Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.