What Is an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the largest investment many people may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Most of the people participating are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the money needed to bankroll the deal. And the title company sees to it that all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer.

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 is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Frigoletto & Associates Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the inspection

Our first responsibility at Frigoletto & Associates Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features first hand, 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 typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with 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 home.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

A valid estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Frigoletto & Associates Inc., we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Leominster and Worcester County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. 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.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual 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 typically 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 Frigoletto & Associates Inc. will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.