profile picture

Breaking Down the Appraisals

Buying a home can be the biggest investment some people could ever consider. Whether it's a primary 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 see it through.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.


It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital required to fund the exchange. Ensuring all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

So what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid?   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 professional Arizona licensed appraiser from Snyder Consulting, Inc. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

Our first responsibility at Snyder Consulting, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Back at the office, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, we pull information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. We thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, 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 has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system 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 an amount to the comparable property.
When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Prescott and Yavapai, Snyder Consulting, Inc. is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on 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 could sell for in an open market. Depending on the individual 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. Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property would likely sell for in an open marketplace. Here's what it all boils down to: An appraiser from Snyder Consulting, Inc. will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.