What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Buying a home is the largest transaction some could ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the transaction. Next, the bank provides the financial capital needed to finance the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line 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 OK Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

Our first task at OK Appraisals is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

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. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma, OK Appraisals is second to none. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from OK Appraisals will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.