Understanding the Appraisal Process

A home purchase is the biggest investment most might ever consider. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

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

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money needed to bankroll the transaction. The title company sees to it that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer.

So what party makes sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid?   This is where you meet the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional North Carolina licensed appraiser from Sweeting Appraisal Service will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first duty at Sweeting Appraisal Service is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

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

Cost Approach

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

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they appraise. We innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home 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.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, 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.
When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Blowing Rock and Watauga, Sweeting Appraisal Service can't be beat. This approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along 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 document an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual 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 typically 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 Sweeting Appraisal Service will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.