Comprehending Appraisals

Getting a house is the largest financial decision most of us will ever consider. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the transaction. And ensuring all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser 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 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 OK Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first duty at OK Appraisals 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 are there and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, we analyze information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. By assigning a dollar value to 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject could 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 Oklahoma City and Oklahoma, OK Appraisals can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

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 real estate. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property produces is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document 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 probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific 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 often employed 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 OK Appraisals will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.