Understanding the Appraisal Process

A home purchase is the biggest transaction many might ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Practically all the people participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the exchange. And ensuring all requirements of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller 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 real estate is worth 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Maider Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first duty at Maider Appraisals is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity 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 more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an 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 Maider Appraisals, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Tampa and Hillsborough County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically awarded the most importance 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 a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific situations 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Maider Appraisals will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.