profile picture

What are the parts of an appraisal?

Acquiring a home can be the most significant transaction many of us will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's a primary residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

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


Practically all the parties participating are quite familiar. The most familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money necessary to fund the deal. The title company ensures all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

So who makes sure the value of the real estate 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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional South Carolina licensed appraiser from The Real Property Group will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Appraisals start with the home inspection

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are present and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

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

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to derive how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with 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 home.
  • 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.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At The Real Property Group, LLC, we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Myrtle Beach and Horry County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's value There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price 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 they could recover in the event they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from The Real Property Group, LLC will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.