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What are the parts of an appraisal?

Purchasing real estate is the most serious investment some of us might ever consider. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial 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.


You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to fund the exchange. The title company makes sure that all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.

So who makes sure the property 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 Colorado certified appraiser from Michael Gampp, LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

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

Cost Approach

Here, we pull 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 commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they work. We innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions 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 fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, 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 an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath 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 a certain amount to the comparable property.
At Michael Gampp, LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in the front range neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. 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

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 the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price 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 they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day: An appraiser from Michael Gampp, LLC will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.
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