Making Sense of the Appraisal Process
Acquiring real estate can be the biggest transaction some will ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.
You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to finance the deal. The title company makes sure that all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.
So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? 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 Linda Bloom (203)625-9220 will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a reasonable 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 includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - 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 the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Here, we use information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject 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. At Linda Bloom (203)625-9220, we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Cos Cob and Fairfield County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third method of valuing a house is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.
Putting It All Together
Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always 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 the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used 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 Linda Bloom (203)625-9220 will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.