Real Property Appraisals: A Primer

Their home's purchase is the biggest transaction most people might ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Most of the parties involved are quite familiar. The most familiar face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the exchange. And the title company ensures that all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.

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 makes sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Young Appraisal Company, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete 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 indeed exist and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - 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 sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. 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.

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

An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Young Appraisal Company, Inc., we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in North Richland Hills and Tarrant County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most importance 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 an additional method of valuing a house. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valuePrices 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 used 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 Young Appraisal Company, Inc. will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.