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Understanding the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the biggest investment most of us might ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

The majority of the parties involved are very familiar. The most known person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money needed to finance the deal. And the title company ensures that all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers 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 makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Accufast Appraisal Services, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following 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 the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in Fairview Park and Cuyahoga, Accufast Appraisal Services, Inc. is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueThere 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 typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Accufast Appraisal Services, Inc. will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.