Buying a house can be the most important investment most may ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to bankroll the deal. The title company ensures that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.
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 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 EDI Appraisals, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
Our first responsibility at EDI Appraisals, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Here, we gather information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Houston and Harris, EDI Appraisals, Inc. is second to none. This 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 real estate is sometimes applied when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.
Putting It All Together
Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price 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 recover in case they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from EDI Appraisals, Inc. will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.