Decoding the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase is the most serious transaction most will ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known person in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to fund the transaction. And ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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 real estate is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 begins

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are present and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after 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 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 figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of particular 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 property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, 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. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Scottsdale and Maricopa, Phoenix Valuations, LLC is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valuePrices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Phoenix Valuations, LLC will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.