Breaking Down the the Appraisal Process

Getting a house is the most important investment most of us may ever make. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

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 very familiar. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the deal. The title company sees to it that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

So what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid?   In comes the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased opinion 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 professional Georgia licensed appraiser from Adams Appraisal Service will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at Adams Appraisal Service is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser employs 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser analyzes 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 value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. We innately understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • But, 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.
When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Milledgeville and Baldwin County as well as Greene, Hancock, Putnam, Jones, Washington, and Wilkinson Counties, Adams Appraisal Service is second to none. This approach to value is usually given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. 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 often employed 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. Here's what it all boils down to: An appraiser from Adams Appraisal Service will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.