What Is an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the most important financial decision most of us may ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Practically all the people participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the money necessary to bankroll the transaction. And ensuring all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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 is responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Slater Real Estate Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at Slater Real Estate Services is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - 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 the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, we gather information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of 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.

  • If, for example, the comparable 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.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

After all differences have been accounted for, 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 Windsor and Weld, Slater Real Estate Services is your local authority. This approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to give an indicator of the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific 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.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 get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Slater Real Estate Services will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.