Home Buying in Santa Clara>Question Details

Ronline, Home Buyer in 94086

Question about home appraisals

Asked by Ronline, 94086 Sat Aug 4, 2012

Hi all:
Just want to know what all factors the appraisers take into consideration while appraising the value of a property. Do they look at school ratings, neighborhood crime stats, aesthetic exteriors / interirors, etc OR is it just comps from recent sales?

Thanks for your time and appreciate any insight

Help the community by answering this question:


Banks will want comps that are similar to the subject. I like comps within 1/2 mile from the subject,but that's not always the case. I like it when similar comps are all on the same side of the street and within one house from each other. But then I wake up, because that is a dream. I pull two comps that support the schools and market area, two comps that are recent (within 90 days), two comps with outbuildings or whatever I feel is the determining factors that are the most important when determining value. This will change for each home. If you go to my website, you will get bored of all of the detail I go into when selecting comps and what is important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 26, 2012
Hi Ronline

Right the appraiser looks at the following:

1.) comparable sales

2.) s/he also calls agents with Pending homes to figure out the trends, as to multiple offers,
whether over list, all cash , or loans etc.

3.) an appraisal for a Refinance is quite different than that of a Home Purchase.

4.) What the entire neighborhood is doing also helps.



0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 26, 2012
Comparable sales and the condition of the subject property are the most important information that affects the appraised value of a property. The location, crime stats, school quality, shopping, commute convenience and other neighborhood features have all gone into determining buyers’ decisions to pay whatever they paid for the comp houses. The comp values already include all of these features so they do not need to be individually weighed unless the subject property lacks some important feature or contains an important feature that the others do not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 17, 2012
Generally the appraiser will use the sold comps and some active listings in the immediate neighborhood to determine the value. The imemdiate neighborhood sold comps have already gone into consideration of the school ratings, crime rate and such...so the appraiser won't do a spearate valuation on these factors. Hopefully, the appraiser is familiar with the area because sometimes the school district can be completely different from right across the street and the appraiser who is not familiar with the area might use those comps for his valuation. When he compares the comps, he'll then compare the condition of the property which includes sizes, upgrades, require any deferred maintenance and amenities...etc.

If the appraisal came back and you don't agree with the value, you can work with your realtor to appeal the appraisal by providing comps that you think are more relevant. Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Interesting how you separate "just comps" from school ratings and safety data. If the comps are properly selected, the general neighborhood conditions will be accounted for. Condition of the house will definitely factor in like age of the roof, last remodel date for kitchen, bathrooms, floors, etc.

But why are you asking?
Web Reference: http://talisrealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2012
Many times, the comps in the the market area will share similar data as what you listed above because the homes should be in your market area. If they are not, the appraiser will explain why they used the sales and listings that they used.

Ideally, I'd like all of my sales on the same street, same side of the road, same design and appeal, same square footage... and then I woke up, because that is a dream.

I shoot for one to two sales that are recent, similar in location, design, amenties, but in most cases, five things will determine your home value. My website is the best to expain exactly how appraisers find comparable sales and what the most important data is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2012
In my experience, they do not considers Schools, Shopping, Freeway access, Churches or Parks and Playgrounds.

How an Appraisal is made:
Visualize a series of COLUMNS, probably 4 or 5;
The First Column is the SUBJECT HOUSE and the others are COMP's.
Down the page we list FEATURES or FACTORS; such as # Bedrooms, # Baths, House Sqft, Lot Sqft, Fireplace, Pool, Roof, Garage, Fencing. Got it?
Now, in each box created, there will be a VALUE: Lets say the subject house is 915 sqft it would get --- or 0. And the first Comp house has 2500 sqft, it might get -100,000; which means that the house is WORTH $100,000 more because of the square-footage. (It is a negative number because the Selling price of that Comp house was approximately $100,000 more BECAUSE of the square footage and we have to deduct that $100,000 to bring them to equity.) Got it?

Now, lets say that the Subject house has $5,000 worth of new fencing and the Comp house has 25 year old OK fencing.: Then the SUBJECT house would get +5,000 and the Comp. house would get --- or 0.

When you go down the page, and enter everything, you get total Comparative Values on the two houses, which allows for the DIFFERENCES.

The two houses DO NOT have to be literally COMPARABLE, they MAKE then comparable with the VALUES.

So the house next door is larger, so what? They made up for that with the values.

Now, if you understand what I just did, then you will understand why;
1.) Two Appraisals can come so close together, and,
2.) Why the Bank will not listen to you about the results.

and in fact I will give you a third;

3.) If you hire your own Appraiser, he will end up with about the same numbers!

Also, please do not compare/equate the ASSESSMENT with the APPRAISAL: The ASSESSMENT is based on the LAST SELLING PRICE OF THE PROPERTY which might be last year. five years ago, or thirty years ago.

I hope I've helped.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 4, 2012
Ideally, both. Appraisers DO come to the home to assess condition, location, upgrades, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 4, 2012
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