Understanding AppraisalsA home purchase is the biggest investment most of us could ever consider. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to finance the transaction. Ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So who's responsible for making sure the property is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Virginia licensed appraiser from Theresa G. Dunleavy & Associates will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals start with the home inspectionOur first duty at Theresa G. Dunleavy & Associates is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really are present 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 accurate 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 house.
Next, after the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Replacement CostThis is where we use information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. We innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachA third way of valuing a property is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.
Putting It All TogetherAnalyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual circumstances 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. But the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property would likely sell for in an open marketplace. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Theresa G. Dunleavy & Associates will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.