What Is an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most serious transaction many people may ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Practically all the parties participating are quite familiar. The most recognizable face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money needed to finance the exchange. And ensuring all details of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass 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 makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? 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 TSH Real Estate and Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first task at TSH Real Estate and Appraisal Services, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Back at the office, we use 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.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions 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 square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace 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.

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 TSH Real Estate and Appraisal Services, LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Kaneohe and Honolulu County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this case, the amount of income the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. 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 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from TSH Real Estate and Appraisal Services, LLC will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.