What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the biggest investment some people will ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Practically all the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the financial capital needed to finance the deal. And ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the amount being paid? 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from At Your Service Appraisals LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first duty at At Your Service Appraisals LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser pulls 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 figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular 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 subject being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, 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.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At At Your Service Appraisals LLC, we are an authority in knowing the worth of particular items in Valrico and Hillsborough County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third method of valuing a property. In this case, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

The Bottom Line

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from At Your Service Appraisals LLC will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.