Understanding the Appraisal Process
Buying real estate is the biggest investment some of us may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.
You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital required to fund the transaction. And ensuring all requirements of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 C L Harper & Associates will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect 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: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This 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 replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. 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.
Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 valuing features of homes in Corpus Christi and Nueces, C L Harper & Associates is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to derive 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. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from C L Harper & Associates will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.