Breaking Down the Appraisals

One's home purchase can be the biggest transaction many might ever make. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

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

Most of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to finance the exchange. Ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

So what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is consistent with the purchase price?   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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Texas licensed appraiser from Ed Gray Associates will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

After the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, we use information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. We thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to 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.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • But, 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.
When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in San Antonio and Bexar, Ed Gray Associates can't be beat. This approach to value is most often given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. 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. Regardless, the appraised value is often 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 Ed Gray Associates will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.