What are the parts of an appraisal?

Getting a house is the most serious financial decision most of us may ever make. It doesn't matter if it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.


Most of the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the deal. The title company makes sure that all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

So what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid?   This is where you meet the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Arizona licensed appraiser from Fournier Appraisals will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first duty at Fournier Appraisals is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, we analyze information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. We innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, 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.
When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Phoenix and Maricopa, Fournier Appraisals can't be beat. This approach to value is usually given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property 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 document an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's market value 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. 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 would likely sell for in an open marketplace. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Fournier Appraisals will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.