What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most significant financial decision most of us could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to fund the deal. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 Allstate Appraisal, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first task at Allstate Appraisal, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. 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 property.

  • For example, if the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Allstate Appraisal, Inc. , we are an authority in knowing the value of real estate features in Phoenix and Maricopa County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Allstate Appraisal, Inc. will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.