What Is an Appraisal?

Acquiring a home can be the largest financial decision most might ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money required to finance the transaction. And ensuring all aspects of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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

So, who's responsible for making 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 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 TNC Appraisal Service, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct 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 there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, 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 have an impact on the value of the property.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, we gather information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath 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.

An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At TNC Appraisal Service, Inc., we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Manahawkin and Ocean County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from TNC Appraisal Service, Inc. will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.