Home Appraisals: A Primer

A home purchase can be the biggest investment many might ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the transaction. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes 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, what party makes 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 parcel of real estate, 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.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

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

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure usually 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 appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

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

A true estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Greater Wisconsin Appraisal Management LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in La Valle and Sauk County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional method of valuing real estate. In this situation, the amount of income the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueThere 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Greater Wisconsin Appraisal Management LLC will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

There was a problem returning the RSS feed.

Mortgage Calculator

$
%
%
yrs
$

Got a Question?

Do you have a question? We can help. Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you with the answer, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.

Your Information
Your Question