What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most important financial decision many of us may ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the money necessary to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller 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, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could 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 Greater Orlando Appraisal Assoc., Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete 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 truly exist 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 convey the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, we pull information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, 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 home.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount 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 Greater Orlando Appraisal Assoc., Inc., we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Orlando and Orange County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

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 case, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it probably will 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.But the appraised value is often 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 Greater Orlando Appraisal Assoc., Inc. will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.