Real Estate Appraisals: A PrimerA home purchase can be the largest transaction most may ever consider. Whether it's a primary 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.
The majority of the participants are very familiar. The most recognizable person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital required to finance the transaction. Ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So what party makes sure the property 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 professional Virginia licensed appraiser from Mike Sherfey Appraisals, LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal beginsOur first responsibility at Mike Sherfey Appraisals, LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain 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 indeed are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floor plan, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Replacement CostThis is where we gather information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable SalesAppraisers get to know the communities in which they work. We innately 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 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachA third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to determine the current value.
ReconciliationCombining 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 necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price 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 recover in case they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to: An appraiser from Mike Sherfey Appraisals, LLC will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.