What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Acquiring a home is the most serious transaction many of us could ever make. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the money needed to finance the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes 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, who makes sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Pulse Appraisal will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

After the inspection, 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

This is where we analyze information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate 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 predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an 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. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in White Salmon and Klickitat, Pulse Appraisal can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. 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 give an indicator of the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Pulse Appraisal will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.