What goes into an appraisal?One's home purchase can be the largest financial decision many people could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.
You're likely to be familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to bankroll the deal. Ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So who's responsible for making sure the property is consistent with the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Montana licensed appraiser from McIsaac Appraisals will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals begin with the home inspectionOur first duty at McIsaac Appraisals is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.
Back at the office, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Replacement CostHere, we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Paired Sales AnalysisAppraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. We innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachA third method of valuing real estate is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom LineCombining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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'. But the appraised value is typically 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 McIsaac Appraisals will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.