What Is an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the largest investment some of us will ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to finance the deal. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 The Nunn Company Residential Appraisals LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at The Nunn Company Residential Appraisals LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition 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 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 sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, the cost of labor 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. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions 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 home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

A valid estimate 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 Jefferson City and Cole, The Nunn Company Residential Appraisals LLC can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly given the most importance 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 a third method of valuing real estate. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, 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 they could get back in case they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from The Nunn Company Residential Appraisals LLC will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.