What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the most important investment most may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

The majority of the parties participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to finance the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from C. Gaba Appraisals, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, we analyze information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, 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.

A valid estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Mobile and Mobile, C. Gaba Appraisals, LLC is second to none. This approach to value is most often given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third way of valuing a property. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price 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 case they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from C. Gaba Appraisals, LLC will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.