Real Property Appraisals: A Primer

One's home purchase is the most significant investment many people could ever consider. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties 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.


Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known face in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the money needed to fund the transaction. The title company makes sure that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.

So what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid?   This is where you meet 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 Florida licensed appraiser from Brevard Appraisal Group will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

After the inspection, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value 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 communities in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, an additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property 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.
  • However, 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.
At Brevard Appraisal Group, we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Cape Canaveral and Brevard County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded 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 method of valuing a property. In this scenario, the amount of income the property yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a house would sell for in an open market, it probably will not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific situations 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 used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property would likely sell for in an open marketplace. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Brevard Appraisal Group will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.