Home Appraisals: A PrimerPurchasing real estate can be the largest investment many will ever consider. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.
You're likely to be familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most known person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to finance the deal. The title company makes sure that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser.
So what party makes sure the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Alabama licensed appraiser from Southern Appraisal, LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals start with the home inspectionOur first responsibility at Southern Appraisal, LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.
Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Replacement CostThis is where we pull information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. We thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, 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 ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this case, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom LineExamining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically employed 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. Here's what it all boils down to: An appraiser from Southern Appraisal, LLC will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.