Comprehending Appraisals

Purchasing real estate is the most significant financial decision some could ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a second vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Practically all the parties involved are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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So, what party is 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 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 responsibility at Phoenix Valuations, LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on 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: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain 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 subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra 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.

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

An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. 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 typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of 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. Depending on the specific 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 often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Phoenix Valuations, LLC will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.