A home purchase is the biggest financial decision most of us might ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to finance the transaction. And ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 Ring Residential Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Appraisals start with the property inspection
Our first duty at Ring Residential Appraisals is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the house, 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.
Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain 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 home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject 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 Ring Residential Appraisals, we are an authority in knowing the worth of particular items in Olathe and Johnson County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom Line
Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest 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. But 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Ring Residential Appraisals will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.