Understanding the Appraisal Process

A home purchase is the most important transaction most might ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the money necessary to fund the transaction. And the title company ensures that all areas of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

Our first task 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, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser pulls 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 value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions 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 close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath 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.

In the end, 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 experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Bloomington and Monroe County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often awarded the most weight 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 - the appraiser may use an additional method of valuing real estate. In this case, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Daniel Todd Appraisal Services, LLC will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.