What Is an Appraisal?
Purchasing real estate is the largest investment many people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.
The majority of the people involved are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to fund the transaction. And ensuring all requirements of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes 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 Deer Creek Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal begins
Our first responsibility at Deer Creek Appraisals is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and illustrate the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.
Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Here, we pull information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct 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 can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of 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.
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 Deer Creek Appraisals, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Denver and Jefferson County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional approach to value. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.
Coming Up With The Final Value
Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Deer Creek Appraisals will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.
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