A Description of the Appraisal Process

Buying a home is the largest investment most of us may ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most of the parties participating are quite familiar. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money needed to finance the exchange. And ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers 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, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line 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 Lundquist Appraisals & Real Estate Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the home inspection

Our first task at Lundquist Appraisals & Real Estate Services is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Following the inspection, we use 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 gathers information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, 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 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 an amount to the comparable property.

A true estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Lundquist Appraisals & Real Estate Services, we are an authority in knowing the worth of particular items in Wabash and Wabash County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price 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.But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Lundquist Appraisals & Real Estate Services will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.