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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Acquiring real estate is the most serious financial decision most people could ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money needed to finance the transaction. And the title company ensures that all requirements of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.


To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or contact us today to talk about your specific property.

So, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth the amount being paid? 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Marlow Real Estate and Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the home inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying 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: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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 match the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject property 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. When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in Asheville and Buncombe, Marlow Real Estate and Appraisal Services is your local authority. This approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual 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, but the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Marlow Real Estate and Appraisal Services will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

Email me at marlowrealestate@gmail.com to ask a question or get a fee quote, or call 828-236-3221.