An Overview of the Appraisal Process

A home purchase is the most significant transaction some people may ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the money required to fund the transaction. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer 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 property 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Daniel Todd Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at Daniel Todd Appraisal Services, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

After the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where we use information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to 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 property.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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. At Daniel Todd Appraisal Services, LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Bloomington and Monroe County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

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 scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. It's not uncommon for prices to 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 they could get back in the event they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Daniel Todd Appraisal Services, LLC will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.