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A Description of the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the most significant financial decision many will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert 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 known entity in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the money needed to bankroll the transaction. The title company ensures that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers 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, what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is worth 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 parcel of real estate, 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.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, 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

This is where we pull information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property similar 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 predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 experts in knowing the value of real estate features in Roswell and Fulton County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third method of valuing real estate. In this case, the amount of income the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Prices can always 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 used 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Filson's Real Estate Appraisal Services, Inc. will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.