Real Property Appraisal: A primer

Whether you are in search of your first or second home equity mortgage, making your way through the process can be tricky. Regardless of why you need a home equity loan, finding the right people to walk you through the process can take it from sticky to simple.

When acquiring a home equity loan, most of the people involved directly in the process are accustomed to playing their role in the process. The real estate agent plays an important role in representing their client’s interests. The financial institution must do their part in providing the financial support promised. In the case of a first mortgage, the title company guarantees that the title is safe to be transferred from the seller to the buyer.

How can you be sure that the appraised value of the property and the price of purchase are equal? You can rely on the appraiser. Our role is to offer a fair assessment of the price of this specific piece of real estate, with buyer and seller kept informed. One of the expert certified appraisers from The Appraising Group will make sure you stay informed.


At The Appraising Group our first priority is to review the property and discover the current status. During the review we will assess the condition of the home to ensure it is in a state buyers expect. We also check for things like number and status of bedrooms and bathrooms, what amenities are in the home and the location. Some inspectors will even make a sketch of the floor plan in order to accurately portray the size and accuracy of the property. If we find anything that will impact the value of the home in either direction, we make it a priority to highlight that in our report.

At the conclusion of the inspection our experts use a variety of approaches to find the true value of the property. These include a replacement cost calculation, a paired sales analysis, and an income approach (in the case of a rental property).


Expert appraisers make it their job to know the community they work in. Part of this means understanding what home amenities and features are important to local buyers. Using the sale prices of comparable properties, a general valuation is created. Then the appraiser uses information specific to your property, like square footage, updates, renovations or special features that add value. Finally, they can use these two pieces of information to put the puzzle together and create a true valuation.

  • Let us use an example of a home that recently sold and had beautiful original hardwood floors throughout. When the appraiser considers that the home being evaluated has wall-to-wall carpet and no hardwood underneath, value must be subtracted from the comparable.
  • If the opposite is true and the home being assessed has the hardwood floors, this would add extra value beyond the price tag of the recent sale home.

At The Appraising Group, we take pride in our understanding of the value of real estate characteristics in Pennsylvania. Our value approach is very often used in the case of an appraisal for a home purchase.


The goal of the cost approach is to find the price cap on what a house might be listed. This number would be the cost of building the same property in the current market – including construction and labor costs. Typically this is the least often used method.


One more option in home valuation can be used when your community has a fair number of rentals. The revenue generated by the property can be compared with the revenue of other rentals in the community to estimate a value.


After gathering all of this important data your appraiser can finish the report that offers the probable value of the property being appraised. While the actual number they provide you may not be the exact selling price of the home, it is a great indicator of how much the property may sell for. There are many factors, like desirability of the property, which can drive up the final sales price. The market valuation is helpful for the lender to put a limit on the amount they will loan on the property, as they cannot loan more than they would recoup if they had to sell the property in the future. One of the experts at The Appraising Group make a promise that you get the most balanced property value for your property to allow you to take the next big step.