What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Buying a home can be the most important investment many may ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the people involved are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the deal. And ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser 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, what party makes sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could 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.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at Frigoletto & Associates Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly are present and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

After the inspection, 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 uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra 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.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace 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.

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. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Leominster and Worcester, Frigoletto & Associates Inc. is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the specific situations 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Frigoletto & Associates Inc. will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.