What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Purchasing a house is the most important investment most of us could ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

The majority of the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the money necessary to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all aspects 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, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth the amount being paid? 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 Militti Appraisal Service will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first responsibility at Militti Appraisal Service is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view 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 buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. 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 real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, we analyze information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum 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 work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain 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 being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, extra 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 portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • But, 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Militti Appraisal Service, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Panama City and Bay County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Militti Appraisal Service will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.