Understanding the Appraisal Process

Purchasing a house can be the biggest financial decision most may ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

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 having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the deal. The title company ensures that all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.

So what party makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the purchase price?   In comes 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 professional Florida licensed appraiser from CAS Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they truly are present and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches when 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, we use information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. We innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. 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 more accurately match the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.
When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in The Villages and Pasco, CAS Appraisal Services, LLC can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. 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 could sell for in an open market. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day: An appraiser from CAS Appraisal Services, LLC will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.