What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Acquiring a house is the biggest investment some could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

The majority of the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the transaction. And the title company makes sure that all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass 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 value of the property is in line 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 parcel of real estate, 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.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first task at Frigoletto & Associates Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and document 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, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in Leominster and Worcester, Frigoletto & Associates Inc. is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically 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 Frigoletto & Associates Inc. will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.