What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Buying a home is the most serious investment many people will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved 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 familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to finance the transaction. And the title company sees to it that all areas of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

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

So, what party makes sure the property is worth the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could 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 The Appraisal Service will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the home inspection

Our first task at The Appraisal Service is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and describe the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

After the inspection, 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one 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.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra 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 property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

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 knowing the true worth of features of homes in La Jolla and San Diego, The Appraisal Service is your local authority. This 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 approach to value is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive 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 in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from The Appraisal Service will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.