What Is an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the largest transaction many of us might ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Practically all the people involved are very familiar. The most recognizable face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all areas of the exchange 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 makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? 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 ValPro Appraisal LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually view features, 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 make sure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

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 looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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 could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At ValPro Appraisal LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Cape Coral and Lee County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to put the property on the market again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from ValPro Appraisal LLC will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.