What Goes Into an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the most important financial decision most people may ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the people participating are quite familiar. The most known entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer 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, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Anderson Appraisal, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first task at Anderson Appraisal, LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, we use 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.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath 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. At Anderson Appraisal, LLC, we are experts in knowing the worth of particular items in Amarillo and Potter County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Anderson Appraisal, LLC will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.