What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Acquiring a house can be the most important investment some might ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to bankroll the transaction. And the title company ensures that all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes 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, who makes sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? 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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Personal Service Realty's Residential Valuation Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses 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

This is where we pull information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors 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.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • If, for example, 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.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount 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 Personal Service Realty's Residential Valuation Group, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Jacksonville and Duval County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine 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 subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueDepending on the specific circumstances 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.But the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Personal Service Realty's Residential Valuation Group will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.