Decoding the Appraisal Process

Acquiring a home is the most serious transaction some people could ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the money required to finance the deal. And the title company ensures that all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.

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 is responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? In comes 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 SUMMIT APPRAISAL SERVICES, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first responsibility at SUMMIT APPRAISAL SERVICES, LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on 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 uses information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property 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 neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath 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 putting a value on features of homes in Jackson and Teton, SUMMIT APPRAISAL SERVICES, LLC is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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. 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 recover in case they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from SUMMIT APPRAISAL SERVICES, LLC will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.



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