Understanding the Appraisal Process

Purchasing real estate can be the biggest investment most might ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The most recognizable entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money required to fund the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

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So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent 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 Phoenix Valuations, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first task at Phoenix Valuations, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, 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 size of the property is accurate and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses 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 gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is 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 people 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 upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

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. When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in Scottsdale and Maricopa, Phoenix Valuations, LLC can't be beat. 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 way of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. 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 a property's valueDepending on the individual circumstances 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.But the appraised value is often used 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Phoenix Valuations, LLC will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.