Real Property Appraisals: A PrimerOne's home purchase is the biggest financial decision most will ever make. It doesn't matter if it's a main residence, a second vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.
Most of the parties participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the financial capital required to bankroll the deal. The title company makes sure that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer.
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 opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Massachusetts licensed appraiser from Ascension Appraisal will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals begin with the property inspectionOur first duty at Ascension Appraisal is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.
Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Replacement CostThis is where we gather 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 figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Analyzing Comparable SalesAppraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. We innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to 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.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.
Arriving at a Value ConclusionCombining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the price at which the property closes. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Ascension Appraisal will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.