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What are the components of an appraisal?

A home purchase can be the biggest financial decision most people will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties 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.


You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the transaction. Ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

So who makes 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 might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Nevada licensed appraiser from Skyline Appraisal Group will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, we gather information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they appraise. We thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With the Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a house would sell for in an open market, it probably will 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 an offer or listing price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used 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 Skyline Appraisal Group will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.