Getting a house can be the largest transaction most will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the money required to finance the deal. And ensuring all areas of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer is the title company.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with 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 Absolute Appraisals, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
Our first task at Absolute Appraisals, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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.
An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Absolute Appraisals, LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Charlottesville and Charlottesville City County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional method of valuing a property. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.
The Bottom Line
Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. 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 valueThere are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, 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 case they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Absolute Appraisals, LLC will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.