Comprehending Appraisals

Their home's purchase can be the most important investment many people could ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to finance the deal. The title company sees to it that all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

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

So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Benchmark Appraising, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first responsibility at Benchmark Appraising, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are present and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace 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.

A valid estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Kernersville and Forsyth, Benchmark Appraising, LLC is your local authority. This approach to value is usually given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional method of valuing a house. 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 determine the current value.


Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Benchmark Appraising, LLC will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

Today's Rates

Mtg Loan Rate APR
30-yr Fixed 4.44% 4.59%
15-yr Fixed 3.9% 4.11%
1-yr Adj 2.75% 3.41%
* national averages
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