Understanding Appraisals

A home purchase is the most serious investment some of us could ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Practically all the people involved are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most known person in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the money needed to bankroll the deal. The title company makes sure that all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass 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 property is consistent with the purchase price? 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 V C Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine 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, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where we gather information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, 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 might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At V C Appraisals, we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. 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 a property's valueThere are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from V C Appraisals will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.