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What goes into an appraisal?

Purchasing a home can be the most significant transaction many will ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a detailed 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 having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the exchange. Ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

So who makes sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price?   In comes the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Florida licensed appraiser from Gardner Consulting Services, Inc. will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Appraisals start with the inspection

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, 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, we analyze information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, an additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.
When it comes to valuing features of homes in ORLANDO and Orange, Gardner Consulting Services, Inc. can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of revenue 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

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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. 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 Gardner Consulting Services, Inc. will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.