profile picture

English Spanish

What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Purchasing a house can be the most significant investment many people may ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

The majority of the parties involved are quite familiar. The most known person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser 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, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Accredited Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at Accredited Appraisals is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, we pull information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Accredited Appraisals, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Evergreen Park and Cook County neighborhoods. This approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Accredited Appraisals will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.