Comprehending Appraisals

Getting a house is the most significant transaction some will ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known person in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the financial capital needed to finance the exchange. The title company makes sure that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes 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 real estate is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Filson's Real Estate Appraisal Services, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity 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, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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 Filson's Real Estate Appraisal Services, Inc., we are an authority in knowing the worth of particular items in Roswell and Fulton County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to determine the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Filson's Real Estate Appraisal Services, Inc. will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.