Understanding Appraisals

Getting a home is the most important financial decision most might ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a second vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to finance the deal. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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 makes sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Benchmark Appraising, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at Benchmark Appraising, 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, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

After 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, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property 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.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Benchmark Appraising, LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Kernersville and Forsyth County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this case, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific 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. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Benchmark Appraising, LLC will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

Today's Rates

Mtg Loan Rate APR
30-yr Fixed 4.9% 5.06%
15-yr Fixed 4.29% 4.52%
1-yr Adj 2.77% 3.44%
* national averages
There was a problem returning the RSS feed.

Got a Question?

Do you have a question? We can help. Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you with the answer, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.

Your Information
Your Question