What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most serious investment some could ever make. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed 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 face in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the money needed to fund the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller 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 real estate is in line with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 All City Appraisal will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a reasonable person 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, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

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

This is where the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, 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 doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 associating a value with features of homes in Woodland Hills and Los Angeles, All City Appraisal is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes employed when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with income produced by similar properties to give an indicator of the current value.

The Bottom Line

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueIt'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'. But 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from All City Appraisal will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

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