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An Overview of the Appraisal Process

Buying real estate is the most significant investment many people will ever make. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties 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.


The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the money required to bankroll the deal. The title company ensures that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

So who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid?   In comes 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 Indiana licensed appraiser from Gold Medal Appraisals will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floor plan, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property 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 can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, an additional living area, quality of construction, and lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not; the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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 Gold Medal Appraisals, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Southwestern Arizona neighborhoods. This approach to value is usually given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with income produced by similar properties to determine 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 subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's market 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 an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is often 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. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Gold Medal Appraisals will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.

Servicing: Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, Catalina, and Oracle.