What Goes Into an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most serious financial decision many people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the transaction. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to fund the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Kroepfl Advisors will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

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.

Cost Approach

Here, we pull information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison Approach

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain 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 subject in question. 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace 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 a certain amount to the comparable property.

After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Kroepfl Advisors, we are experts in knowing the value of particular items in Grand Lake and Grand County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses or retail properties for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this case, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Examining the data from all 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 always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the specific circumstances 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. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Kroepfl Advisors will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.