Understanding Appraisals

Purchasing a house can be the biggest transaction some of us may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

The majority of the people involved are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most known face in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to fund the transaction. The title company makes sure that all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

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So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Uphold Appraisal Team, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies 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 to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property 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 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.

A true estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Uphold Appraisal Team, LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Eugene and Lane County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Uphold Appraisal Team, LLC will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.