What Is an Appraisal?

Buying a house is the most significant investment many may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a second vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital needed to finance the transaction. And ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller 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 real estate is worth the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, 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.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first responsibility at ValPro Appraisal LLC 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, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and describe 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 property.

Back at the office, 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to determine how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At ValPro Appraisal LLC, we are an authority in 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 exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third method of valuing a property. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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'. But the appraised value is typically employed 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 sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from ValPro Appraisal LLC will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.