10 Types of Appraisal Information to Find When Doing Real Estate Research
Property research is crucial in making real estate verdicts. It provides information relevant to the buying-selling negotiations and decision-making. But before you start going around in circles, going back and forth with little to no information, you need to know where to begin. So, here’s a starting point: The ten types of appraisal information to find when doing property research.
1. Name of the current owner
First, you should know the name of the current owner of the property. To find property owners, you can look up the address using public records (e.g., county tax assessor or county recorder’s office for property deeds).
2. APN number
An Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) is a unique number assigned to each county’s parcel of land by a Tax Assessor. It is based on formatting codes depending on the home’s location, and the local government uses it to determine and keep track of land ownership for property tax purposes.
Other terms of APN include Assessor’s Identification Number (AIN), Parcel ID, Parcel Control Number, Property Identification Number (PIN), Property Account Number, and Tax Account Number.
3. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Number
A Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a database established by real estate professionals to provide organized and accurate data about properties for sale. An MLS number is a number designated to real estate listings on the MLS system. For instance, when a house is listed for sale on the system, it gets an MLS number. MLS numbers are used to distinguish properties and organize listings.
4. Property Address
A property address is the road name and street number assigned to a property within a Municipal District and may include, where there are multiple tenements within a property or multiple properties at one street number, the use of lot unit numbers.
5. Map Code
A mapcode is predetermined numbers according to latitude and longitude, and it represents a location. It consists of two groups of letters and digits, separated by a dot. For instance, Amsterdam’s mapcode is 49.4V. It can be written as Netherlands 49.4V on a business card.
6. Gross Living Area in sq ft
In the Appraisal Institute’s Dictionary of Real Estate 4th Edition, the gross living area is defined as “The total area of finished, above-grade residential space excluding unheated areas such as porches and balconies; the standard measure for determining the amount of space in residential properties.”
It includes bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and excluding garages, decks, and basements, as another key requirement states that spaces must be finished with heating and ventilation. For instance, two properties have the same square footage, one that has less below-grade square footage sells for a higher price.
7. Sales History
A property’s sale history provides a wide-range of informational value to the customers, real estate brokers, and service providers. Sales history gives you a deeper insight into information such as negotiating a better deal, knowing whether the property was ever in foreclosure, and how long someone owned the property. You can look up a property’s sales history through public records or online property searches on property listing sites.
Property tax is an annual tax paid on a property owned by an individual or other legal entity. The local government, where the property is located, is the one calculating the property tax that is paid by property owners. Property taxes go to a local government fund. It is used to fund water and sewer improvements, education, police and fire departments, libraries, road construction, and other services that benefit the community.
9. Property Characteristics
Specific property characteristics are essential when doing property research. It determines the precise market value, and each property characteristic has its evaluation contribution. Here is the list of characteristics that make up the property:
- Number of rooms
- Number of baths
- Extra features (patios, porches, decks, etc.)
- Number of fireplaces
- Quality of interior finish
- The layout of the property
10. Lot size in square feet
The lot size, the size of the land that your property sits on, may provide impact to the property value. To find the lot size of a property, the public records office in the area is the best source as they have the original lot size on hand.
Your client may require more information about the property, depending on the purpose of the appraisal, but these 10 types of information are the ones commonly sought after.
If your appraisal assignments require volumes of data and lots of hours going through MLS and real estate databases, then you’ll surely need back-up. An appraisal back office assistant can ease the load off your shoulders, so you’ll have more time for property inspections and comparables research that add credibility to all your appraisal reports. Hire an appraisal back office assistant now!