A typical real estate appraisal appointment will take approximately 25 minutes, at the home. That includes both the interior and exterior inspection. A sketch of the room layout is made and digital photos are taken of the home as well as any other buildings that may be on the property.
Upon completion of the inspection, the real estate appraiser will go to the town hall to obtain a legal description and plot plan of the home being appraised. He will also check assessor records, zoning and building departments for compliance. At this time he will also obtain information on similar property sold in the neighborhood.
Upon return to the office, the real estate appraiser will look for additional information on properties that have recently sold in the neighborhood that are close in size, room count, age, and style, as well as, extra features similar to the subject property. This information is obtained from the local Multiple Listing System, Commercial Record, and office data files.
After determining the comparable properties that will be used in the real estate appraisal report the appraiser will drive by the homes, take an exterior photo, and verify as much information as possible from the road. These sales will be used in the market data section of the report and adjustments will be made where the properties differ.
A report containing as much information as possible will be prepared with a description of the materials used, a number of rooms, condition, and style (colonial, ranch, cape, etc). The report will also include a description of the site and neighborhood with positive conditions like proximity to shopping, school, and employment or negative conditions like excess traffic, highway noise and nearby commercial property.
A national cost handbook is used to determine what it would cost to rebuild the home today. This will be depreciated based on condition, utility and off property conditions. The income approach to value is seldom used because most single-family homes are not used for income purposes.
When all the approaches to value are completed a weighted conclusion of value is determined. The real estate appraisal report is then sent over the internet or mailed to the client usually within 24-hours after inspection.