What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Buying a home can be the most significant financial decision some people might ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex 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 person in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to fund the deal. The title company makes sure that all areas of the transaction 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 makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from V C Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the property, 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 real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, 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 has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace 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.

A true estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma, V C Appraisals can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueThere are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final 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 V C Appraisals will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.