Appraisal Process


The appraisal begins with a phone call or an email to the appraisal office.  A phone call is then required in order for the appraiser to get information about the property to be appraised and the reason for the appraisal.  At that time an appointment can be set up for the inspection, and payment terms can be agreed upon.  Sometimes a client will ask about a possible value when ordering the appraisal.  The appraiser does not know the value of the subject property at this time and cannot promise any value.  It is possible for the appraiser to look up recent sales for similar properties in the subject area and indicate the price range of recent sale.

Exterior Inspection

Upon arriving at the property, the appraiser first analyzes the neighborhood and the street where the property is located.  Any nearby external influences such as train tracks, power lines or busy traffic patterns are noted.  The appraiser takes photos of the street and the property exterior that will go into the report.  The appraiser then measures the exterior of the property (or interior if necessary).  He collects information about the property's site, construction, style, condition and amenities.  Amenities include such items as parking, garage, fencing, patios, decks and swimming pools.

Interior Inspection

Next the appraiser inspects the interior of the property.  Photos of every room are taken, including the basement.  Notes are also taken for later analysis.  the appraiser observes the size, condition, upgrades and amenities of the property.  He notes such features as fireplaces, finished basements, 2-story areas, modern kitchens, types of floor covering, etc.

Comp Inspection

The appraiser then drives around the neighborhood and surrounding areas to look at recent sales and current sales listings.  He takes photos and makes notes about the recent sales for further analysis.  The appraiser attempts to use comparable properties that are similar in size, style, age and condition to the subject, that have sold within six months prior to the appraisal date and which are within one mile distance from the subject.


Back at the office the appraiser analyzes all information and types the reports.  Information regarding comparable properties is obtained from exterior inspection, real estate MLS listings and public records.  Information can also be obtained from people involved in the sale of these properties.  Value adjustments are then made based on differences between the subject and the comparable properties.  Sales data , cost and income value approaches are taken into account.  Final reconciliation and verification of data are then done as part of the  determination of value.  Upon completion of the report, contact is made with the client, and the report is emailed, faxed, or mailed to the client.