What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Acquiring a house is the most important financial decision most people might ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the parties involved are very familiar. The most known entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money needed to finance the exchange. And ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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, what party makes 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 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 MacBride Appraisal 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 conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for 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 the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

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

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain 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 subject being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to 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 more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property 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.
  • If the subject property 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 MacBride Appraisal, we are experts in knowing the worth of real estate features in Carlsbad and San Diego County neighborhoods. This approach to value is usually given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual 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.But 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from MacBride Appraisal will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.