A Description of the Appraisal Process

A home purchase is the most serious transaction many people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the transaction. And the title company ensures that all details of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.

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So, who makes sure the value of the property is in line 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Advantage Appraisal Inc. (207) 794-2018 will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must physically view features, 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 typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, 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 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.
  • But, 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 could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in Lincoln and Penobscot, Advantage Appraisal Inc. (207) 794-2018 is your local authority. This approach to value is usually given the most weight 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 - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing real estate. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby 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 property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price 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 typically 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Advantage Appraisal Inc. (207) 794-2018 will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.