appraisals you can trust

Appraising 101:

How Much Is It Worth?

If you want to see an appraiser cringe, tell them "I had an appraisal done a couple of years ago.  They came in at (enter exhorbitant dollar amount here, definitely out of line with the current market), but I don't have the report..."


Why is this a problem?  Because without the report we have no idea what the previous appraiser did.  Or why.  We can't tell if:

  1. you're remembering correctly,
  2. the appraisal was subject to remodeling that never happened,
  3. the appraiser did a drive by appraisal and your house looks ok from the street but is a mess inside, or
  4. the market changed.  It happens.

So how does an appraiser determine the value of your home?  Basically there are three ways to do this:


  1. The Cost Approach
  2. The Income Approach
  3. The Market Data Approach (also known as the Sales Comparison Approach)


Appraisers will use one or more of the applicable methods for determining the value of a property, then reconcile those results into their final "opinion of value." Typically the three approaches to value come up with slightly different numbers. The process of reconciling all of that information into one number is somewhat subjective. The final number should be clearly supported by the different approaches to value, and there should be a good explanation of the appraiser's reasoning in the report.