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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Getting a house can be the most significant transaction most will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known person in the transaction. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to fund the transaction. And ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller 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? This is where you meet 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 Zacour & Associates, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at Zacour & Associates, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. 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 exist and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

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

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

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 El Paso and El Paso, Zacour & Associates, Inc. can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most weight 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 real estate. In this case, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down 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 final sales price. 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.But 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 Zacour & Associates, Inc. will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.