What Is an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the biggest transaction most might ever consider. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to fund the deal. And the title company sees to it that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.

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 purchase price? In comes 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Piscitelli Appraisal Service will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at Piscitelli Appraisal Service is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must physically 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. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Next, 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 use information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. 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 match the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath 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.

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 Piscitelli Appraisal Service, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Oak Park and Ventura County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueThere are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Piscitelli Appraisal Service will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.