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Narrative Appraisal Template

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goingvirtual

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Apr 13, 2008
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I'm helping an appraiser friend set up a template for narrative reports, and I wanted to get an idea of current approaches since its been many years since I produced appraisals in that format. The company I worked for at that time primarily used MS Word and imported comp grids and other spreadsheets from Excel. My recollection is that we would copy the spreadsheets in Excel and then use "Paste Special" as a "Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object" in Word. This enables editing of the spreadsheet while still in the Word document.

I just checked with my current versions of Word and Excel and this still seems to work. I'm just curious if this how other appraisers do narrative reports or if there are better solutions.

Also, I want to come up with a way for data from comparable sale and rental "write-ups" to automatically be transferred to sales and rental grids. This would help insure that information is consistent in different sections of the report. The only way I can think of is for the "write ups" to be additional worksheets in the same file as the corresponding Excel grid. Then data can be automatically imported into the grid from the comp write-up. For example, in the Comp 1 sale price field in the grid I would type "='Comp 1'!A3", where the Comp 1 write-up is in a worksheet named "Comp 1" and the sale price is in cell A3.

Is this still the way to do this or are there better solutions? One thing I don't like about this approach is that the comp write-ups have a significant amount of text that isn't easy to display in an Excel file. I'd appreciate your feedback.

Mike
 
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Terrel L. Shields

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Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I'm just curious if this how other appraisers do narrative reports or if there are better solutions.
Word Perfect allows you to create spreadsheets within the text without going into Excel or Quattro Pro. You can write fairly complex formula within the spreadsheet.
In Word, I generally just do it in Excel and then highlight, "Copy" as bitmap then paste into WP...I use Word occasionally but don't think it is as good as Word Perfect because I don't need to go into Excel. I use Excel for larger data bases.
 

Gobears81

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Nov 7, 2013
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Illinois
I just paste my Excel sheets into Word, and sometimes paste them as a picture as that is easier to resize, as needed. Obviously, the picture format would disable you from doing any editing of the spreadsheet in the document, whereas a simple copy/ paste will allow you to make changes, but on a manual cell-by-cell basis. I am not aware of ways to copy spreadsheets into Word so that the formulas will allow for automatic change as needed. If I need to make a change, I just go back into Excel, then re-paste back into Word. If there is a way to do this, I'd certainly be interested also.
 

goingvirtual

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I just paste my Excel sheets into Word, and sometimes paste them as a picture as that is easier to resize, as needed. Obviously, the picture format would disable you from doing any editing of the spreadsheet in the document, whereas a simple copy/ paste will allow you to make changes, but on a manual cell-by-cell basis. I am not aware of ways to copy spreadsheets into Word so that the formulas will allow for automatic change as needed. If I need to make a change, I just go back into Excel, then re-paste back into Word. If there is a way to do this, I'd certainly be interested also.

Although pasting into Word as an "Excel Worksheet Object" enables editing as a spreadsheet within the Word document, I don't think it allows automatic updating based upon changes to linked worksheets. Once you past it into Word, I think it becomes a separate spreadsheet from the original source file. I agree that it would be nice to have spreadsheet changes made in an Excel file to be automatically updated in a linked Word document.
 

SpartanAG

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Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Narrative1 and Datappraise have word/excel integrated platforms which are customizable. The also have cloud-based databases which make accessing your sales data easy and uniform. The two services cost money, but to me, it was worth it. I have used both of those services and either one is light years ahead of anything I could develop myself.
 

goingvirtual

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Narrative1 and Datappraise have word/excel integrated platforms which are customizable. The also have cloud-based databases which make accessing your sales data easy and uniform. The two services cost money, but to me, it was worth it. I have used both of those services and either one is light years ahead of anything I could develop myself.

Thanks. I'll check them out.
 

Terraform

Senior Member
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Aug 29, 2006
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Why not just use notebook? Or hand write the appraisal. Or verbally explain?
 

Sid Holderly

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Jun 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
I use Libre Office Writer & Cals, very similar to using MS products, but not the high update costs. Fields is a page of my spreadsheet transfer to fields in other pages of my spreadsheet.
The sales database in on a page, the cost spreadsheet in on a page, the income approach is on a page, the yield analysis is on a page, etc, even statistics are on a page. Parts of the spreadsheets are
transferred to the document. Most of the common data is in the document and gets minor updates for each particular job. A copy of the spreadsheet is saved in the work file for each job. Getting a data dump from the MLS would be nice, but in my area, the data would be too erratic. I hand populate the fields I keep and save pictures, pdf, png or jpg in the job workfile.

I have looked at commercial narrative programs, but do not see the cost benefit at this time, but I do not do any big city work where I would compete with a major (large) commercial appraisal company.
 

NachoPerito

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Jul 25, 2012
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Washington
He would be a good candidate for Narrative1 or datappraise. It is hard to start from scratch, especially if you want some of it automated.
 

Sid Holderly

Senior Member
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Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
Nacho may be right for someone starting out new. It would take an awful lot of time to convert what I have to someone else's template/format.

Too many of the commercially available have proprietary formats making modifications confined within their parameters.
 
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