What Goes Into an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the biggest investment many people could ever consider. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital required to fund the exchange. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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

So, what party makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Appraisers Now, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first task at Appraisers Now, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for 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 to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Appraisers Now, Inc., we are an authority in knowing the value of real estate features in Marrero and Jefferson County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of revenue the property yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.


Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific circumstances of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.Regardless, the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Appraisers Now, Inc. will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.