Decoding the Appraisal ProcessAcquiring real estate is the most serious investment some will ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
Most of the participants are very familiar. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the transaction. Ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So who's responsible for making sure the property is consistent with the purchase price? In comes 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 professional Florida licensed appraiser from Osborne Bay Area Appraisals, Inc. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal beginsOur first task at Osborne Bay Area Appraisals, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features 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 reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
Following the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Cost ApproachHere, the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they appraise. We innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. Using knowledge of the value of 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.
The Bottom LineAnalyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price 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 they could get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Osborne Bay Area Appraisals, Inc. will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.