Making Sense of the Appraisal Process

A home purchase is the biggest transaction many people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money necessary to fund the exchange. And ensuring all requirements of the sale 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 makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 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 see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses 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.

Cost Approach

This is where we use information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually 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 neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • 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, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 value of particular items in Bloomington and Monroe County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual situations 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. At the end of the day, 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.