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What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most significant financial decision some people could ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to fund the deal. And the title company sees to it that all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from The August Group Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features 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 person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where we use information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular 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 property being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to 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.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At The August Group Inc., we are experts in knowing the worth of real estate features in St Louis and Saint Louis County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate generates 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 applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may 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 typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from The August Group Inc. will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.