What Is an Appraisal?

Purchasing a house can be the biggest investment many could ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Most of the people participating are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the money necessary to fund the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer.

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 property is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Ferrari Appraisals LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and describe the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Back at the office, we use 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

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Ferrari Appraisals LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Marlborough and Hartford County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Examining the data from all applicable 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 necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Ferrari Appraisals LLC will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.