Decoding the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the most significant transaction many may ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

The majority of the people involved are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to finance the transaction. The title company sees to it that all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer.

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So, who makes sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Jordan Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

Our first task at Jordan Services is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to 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 gather information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to construct a property comparable 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.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Jordan Services, we are experts in knowing the worth of real estate features in Lufkin and Angelina County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. 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.But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Jordan Services will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.