Getting a home is the most important transaction most of us could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to fund the exchange. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.
So, who makes sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? This is where you meet 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 Appraisals Northwest will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, 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 buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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 more accurately match the features of subject property.
After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Appraisals Northwest, we are experts in knowing the value of real estate features in Usk and Pend Oreille County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home exchange.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional method of valuing a property. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom Line
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 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 valueDepending on the individual circumstances 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.But 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 the event they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Appraisals Northwest will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.