Making Sense of the Appraisal ProcessA home purchase can be the most serious financial decision some people will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's a primary residence, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The most known face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the deal. The title company sees to it that all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.
So what party makes sure the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 professional Colorado licensed appraiser from Tri-County Appraisals will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals start with the inspectionOur first responsibility at Tri-County Appraisals is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Back at the office, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Replacement CostThis is where we pull information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable SalesAppraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. We innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third way of valuing a house. In this situation, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.
Coming Up With the Final ValueCombining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it probably will not be the final sales price. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Tri-County Appraisals will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.