Making Sense of the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the biggest financial decision some of us could ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to finance the deal. And the title company makes sure that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

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? In comes the appraiser. 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 Greater Wisconsin Appraisal Management LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

Our first duty at Greater Wisconsin Appraisal Management LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the house, 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.

Once the site has been inspected, 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.

Cost Approach

Here, we analyze information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace 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 an amount 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. When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in La Valle and Sauk, Greater Wisconsin Appraisal Management LLC is second to none. This approach to value is typically awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing a property. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with income produced by similar properties to determine the current value.

Reconciliation

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. 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 case they had to put the property on the market again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Greater Wisconsin Appraisal Management LLC will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

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