What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most serious financial decision many people will ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

The majority of the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the money needed to finance the transaction. The title company ensures that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.

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So, who makes sure the value of the real estate is consistent 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 Piscitelli Appraisal Service will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

Our first task at Piscitelli Appraisal Service is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are present and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of certain features to the people 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 in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

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. At Piscitelli Appraisal Service, we are experts in knowing the worth of real estate features in and Ventura County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. 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 what a property is worth. 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 they could recover in the event they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Piscitelli Appraisal Service will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.