Comprehending Appraisals

Acquiring a home can be the biggest financial decision many might ever consider. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the participants are quite familiar. The most known person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money necessary to fund the deal. The title company makes sure that all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers 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 value of the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? In comes 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 Joseph Mier & Associates will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first task at Joseph Mier & Associates is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a typical person 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 look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

After the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where we gather information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain 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 property in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount 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 Joseph Mier & Associates, we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Hammond and Tangipahoa County neighborhoods. This approach to value is usually given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. 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 a property's valueDepending on the specific 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.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. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Joseph Mier & Associates will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.