As the largest and most trusted appraisal company in the nation, True Footage understands that a home appraisal is a crucial step in any real estate transaction. Whether you are buying or selling a home, refinancing, or seeking a loan, a home appraisal helps determine the property's value, allowing you to make informed decisions. There are different types of home appraisals, including desktop appraisals, hybrid appraisals, and traditional appraisals. In this article, we will discuss desktop appraisals in detail and their benefits.
A desktop appraisal, also known as a property appraisal, is a type of appraisal where the appraiser determines the value of a property without physically inspecting it. Instead, the appraiser relies on data available from public records and other sources, including Multiple Listing Service (MLS), tax records, and online data.
Desktop appraisals are typically faster and less expensive than traditional appraisals, making them ideal for situations where time and cost are factors. However, desktop appraisals are not suitable for all situations, such as when the property is unique, there are few comparable sales, or when the property's condition cannot be determined from online data.
The appraiser begins by collecting data on the property and the local market. This includes information such as the property's location, size, age, and condition, as well as recent sales of comparable properties in the area. The appraiser may also consider other factors such as zoning laws, the local economy, and any improvements or renovations made to the property.
Using this information, the appraiser can determine the property's value using one of three methods: the sales comparison approach, the cost approach, or the income approach. The sales comparison approach is the most common method and involves comparing the subject property to recent sales of similar properties in the area. The cost approach is used for new or recently renovated properties and involves estimating the cost to build the property and deducting any depreciation. The income approach is used for rental properties and involves estimating the property's potential income based on current rental rates.
Once the appraiser has completed the analysis, they prepare a report that includes their findings and an opinion of the property's value. The report may also include photos of the property and the surrounding area and any relevant market data.
Desktop appraisals offer several benefits over traditional appraisals. These include:
Desktop appraisals are appropriate in situations where the property is typical and there are sufficient comparable sales data available. They are also appropriate when the property is in good condition and there are no significant renovations or improvements that have not been reported to public records.
However, there are situations where a desktop appraisal may not be appropriate. These include:
In addition to desktop appraisals, there are also hybrid appraisals, which are a combination of desktop and traditional appraisals. Hybrid appraisals involve a physical inspection of the property by a third-party inspector, who provides photos and information on the property's condition to the appraiser. The appraiser then uses this information, along with data from public records and other sources, to complete the appraisal.
Hybrid appraisals offer some of the benefits of both traditional and desktop appraisals. They are typically faster and less expensive than traditional appraisals, while also providing more accurate information on the property's condition.
A desktop appraisal is a useful tool for determining the value of a property without the need for a physical inspection. Desktop appraisals are typically faster and less expensive than traditional appraisals, making them an attractive option for those looking to save time and money. However, desktop appraisals may not be suitable for all situations, such as unique properties or those with complex features or condition issues.
At True Footage, we have a team of experienced and knowledgeable property appraisers who can help you determine which type of appraisal is appropriate for your situation. If you are searching for a home appraiser in your market, look no further than True Footage for reliable, accurate, and timely appraisals.
Blaine Feyen is the Head of Community at True Footage. Born and raised in Michigan, Blaine has been in the real estate and related industries for over 30 years. Buying his first duplex at 18, Blaine has been a Realtor, Lender, Investor, Builder, and 20+ year Appraiser. Blaine built and sold three appraisal firms over the years, and has coached many other Appraisers in building their companies as well. Blaine holds a fifth-degree black belt in Aikido and spends his free time doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, riding motorcycles, recording podcasts, and writing.