Understanding the Appraisal Process

A home purchase can be the most important financial decision some of us will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's a main residence, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert 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.


You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable person in the transaction. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to fund the exchange. The title company sees to it that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser.

So who makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid?   This is where you meet 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 Georgia licensed appraiser from Beach Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. We innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, an additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace 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 a certain amount to the comparable property.
At Beach Appraisal Services, LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Carrollton and Carroll County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance 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 approach to value. 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 derive the current value.

Coming Up With the Final Value

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day: An appraiser from Beach Appraisal Services, LLC will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.