Understanding Appraisals

Their home's purchase is the most serious financial decision many of us may ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Most of the people participating are very familiar. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money needed to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers 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, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 ASAP Appraisal Services, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses 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.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value 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 are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace 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.

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 knowing the true value of features of homes in Mesa and Maricopa, ASAP Appraisal Services, Inc. is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual 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 typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from ASAP Appraisal Services, Inc. will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.