Understanding the Appraisal ProcessPurchasing a home can be the most important financial decision many of us will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.
Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar person in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the transaction. The title company sees to it that all areas of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer.
So what party is responsible for making sure the property is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional South Carolina licensed appraiser from Kavanagh Appraisal Company will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal startsOur first duty at Kavanagh Appraisal Company is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the home, 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.
Following the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Cost ApproachHere, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachA third way of valuing a property is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, 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 document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Kavanagh Appraisal Company will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.