What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Purchasing a home can be the most significant investment most will ever make. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

The majority of the parties participating are quite familiar. The most familiar entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money required to finance the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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So, who makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 CCM Appraisal Systems, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the home inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

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

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 experts when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Mounds View and Ramsey County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In 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 revenue the real estate generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Putting It All Together

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. 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 a property's valueDepending on the specific 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 the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from CCM Appraisal Systems, LLC will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.