What are the parts of an appraisal?

One's home purchase can be the most significant investment most people could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's a main residence, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

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


Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to fund the transaction. The title company makes sure that all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

So who makes sure the real estate is consistent with the purchase price?   In comes the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased opinion 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 New Jersey licensed appraiser from Sopko Associates, L.L.C. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first responsibility at Sopko Associates, L.L.C. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they truly are present and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floor plan, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, we use information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. We innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.
When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in SOMERVILLE and Somerset, Sopko Associates, L.L.C. can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With the Final Value

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's market value Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. 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. At the end of the day: An appraiser from Sopko Associates, L.L.C. will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

Bruce G. Sopko Associates, L.L.C. 72 Red Mill Road Glen Gardner, NJ 08826
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