Understanding Appraisals

A home purchase is the most serious transaction some people could ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

The majority of the parties participating are very familiar. The most familiar face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the money needed to fund the transaction. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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 makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from CCM Appraisal Systems, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first duty at CCM Appraisal Systems, LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

This is where we analyze 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.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, 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.
  • But, 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.

After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At CCM Appraisal Systems, LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Mounds View and Ramsey County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional method of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual situations of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.Regardless, 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 the event they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from CCM Appraisal Systems, LLC will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.