An Overview of the Appraisal Process

Purchasing a home can be the largest transaction most people will ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

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

The majority of the parties participating are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the transaction. The title company makes sure that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

So who's responsible for making 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 might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Florida licensed appraiser from Alliance Appraisal Associates of Florida, Inc. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at Alliance Appraisal Associates of Florida, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. We innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.
After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. This approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.


Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, 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 case they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day: An appraiser from Alliance Appraisal Associates of Florida, Inc. will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.