What are the parts of an appraisal?

One's home purchase can be the largest financial decision some people may ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

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


Most of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the exchange. Ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

So what party makes sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price?   In comes the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional North Carolina licensed appraiser from Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Appraisals begin with the home inspection

Our first responsibility at Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, we use information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. We innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to 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.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject property 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 associating a value with features of homes in Goldsboro and Wayne, Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With the Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day: An appraiser from Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.