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What Is an Appraisal?

Acquiring a house can be the largest transaction some could ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most of the parties involved are very familiar. The most recognizable entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the money necessary to finance the deal. And ensuring all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could 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 Reliable Home Inspections& Consulting will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

Our first responsibility at Reliable Home Inspections& Consulting 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, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, 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 extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

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 Reliable Home Inspections& Consulting, we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Easley and Anderson County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most importance 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 a third method of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on 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 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 the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Reliable Home Inspections& Consulting will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.