What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most significant transaction many of us may ever consider. Whether it's a primary residence, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the money required to bankroll the transaction. The title company makes sure that all areas of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth 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 Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

Our first duty at Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

This is where we gather information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific 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 at hand. 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, 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 might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Metairie and Jefferson, Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is typically 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 Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.