What are the parts of an appraisal?

Purchasing a house is the most serious investment most people may ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex 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.


It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the money required to finance the deal. Ensuring all requirements of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

So who's responsible for making sure the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid?   In comes the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Wisconsin licensed appraiser from JNJ Appraisal will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Back at the office, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when 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 construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical 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.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. 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 more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • 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.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.
When it comes to valuing features of homes in Rio and Columbia, JNJ Appraisal is second to none. This approach to value is usually awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the final sales price. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is typically 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. At the end of the day: An appraiser from JNJ Appraisal will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.