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A Description of the Appraisal Process

A home purchase is the most significant financial decision most of us could ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the money required to finance the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all areas of the transaction 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's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? In comes 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 Barnes Appraisal Company will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty 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, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a typical 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 home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

After 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath 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 Barnes Appraisal Company, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Lawton and Comanche County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily 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 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.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 case they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Barnes Appraisal Company will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.