Real Estate Appraisals: A Primer

Buying real estate can be the most significant financial decision most people may ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed 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.


Practically all the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the deal. Ensuring all details of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

So what party makes sure the real estate is consistent 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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Wisconsin licensed appraiser from Appraisal by Conner, LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at Appraisal by Conner, LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

After the inspection, we use 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, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. We innately understand the value of specific features to the people 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 deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.
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. The sales comparison 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 - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. 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 used 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. At the end of the day: An appraiser from Appraisal by Conner, LLC will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

Appraisal by Conner, LLC 7399 Pine Grove Cir Minocqua, WI 54548-9102
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