Getting a house is the most significant investment many people will ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
Most of the parties participating are very familiar. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money needed to fund the exchange. The title company sees to it that all areas of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth 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 Jacobs Company of Stuttgart will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Appraisals begin with the property inspection
To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property 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 reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.
A valid estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At The Jacobs Company of Stuttgart, we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Stuttgart and Arkansas County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance 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 - we may use an additional approach to value. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.
Arriving at a Value Conclusion
Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property 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. But the appraised value is often 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 sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from The Jacobs Company of Stuttgart will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.