What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Purchasing a home is the most serious investment some will ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The most familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to bankroll the deal. The title company ensures that all areas of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

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So, who makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? 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 Citi Appraisal Enterprise will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - 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: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra 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 property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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 true estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Orlando and Orange, Citi Appraisal Enterprise can't be beat. This approach to value is usually given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

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

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific 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.Regardless, 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Citi Appraisal Enterprise will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.