Understanding the Appraisal Process: What You Need to Know

If you’re in the market to buy or sell a property, you may have heard the term “appraisal” thrown around. But what exactly is an appraisal, and why is it important? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the basics of the appraisal process and help you understand what you need to know.

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is an expert opinion of the value of a property. Appraisers are trained professionals who use their expertise, knowledge of the local market, and data analysis to determine the value of a property. Appraisals are used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Buying or selling a property
  • Refinancing a mortgage
  • Estate planning and settlement
  • Property tax assessments

Why is an Appraisal Important?

An appraisal is a crucial step in the process of buying or selling a property, but its importance goes beyond that. Appraisals are also important in other situations where property valuation is required, such as in divorce, estate planning, and successions.

In divorce proceedings, an appraisal is often necessary to determine the value of marital property. This is especially important in cases where the property is being divided between the spouses. An appraisal can help ensure that both parties receive a fair share of the property and can help avoid disputes over the property’s value.

In estate planning and settlement, an appraisal is important to determine the value of the estate’s assets, including real estate. This information is essential for estate tax purposes and to ensure that beneficiaries receive an accurate distribution of the estate’s assets. In some cases, an appraisal may also be required to settle disputes among heirs over the value of the estate’s assets.

In successions, an appraisal is necessary to determine the value of the deceased’s property, including real estate. This information is used to distribute the property among the heirs according to the deceased’s wishes or state law. An accurate appraisal is crucial to ensure that the distribution of the property is fair and equitable.

Overall, an accurate appraisal is essential in any situation where property valuation is required. It ensures that all parties involved in the transaction have a clear understanding of the property’s value, and it helps avoid disputes over the property’s value.

What Happens During an Appraisal?

During an appraisal, the appraiser will conduct a thorough inspection of the property. They will measure the property’s square footage, note the number of rooms, and evaluate the condition of the property. They will also take note of any improvements or additions to the property. After the inspection, the appraiser will gather data on comparable properties in the area and analyze market trends to determine the property’s value.

Once the appraisal is complete, the appraiser will prepare a written report that includes a detailed description of the property, the appraiser’s opinion of the property’s value, and the data used to arrive at the opinion of value. The report is then submitted to the lender or client who ordered the appraisal.

How Can You Prepare for an Appraisal?

If you’re getting ready for an appraisal, there are several things you can do to prepare. First, make sure the property is clean and well-maintained. The appraiser will take note of any repairs or maintenance issues that need to be addressed. It’s also a good idea to have a list of any recent improvements or upgrades to the property. Finally, be sure to provide the appraiser with any documentation they may need, such as a property survey or deed.

In conclusion, an appraisal is an important step in the process of buying or selling a property. By understanding the appraisal process and preparing for the appraisal, you can ensure that the transaction goes smoothly and that you receive an accurate valuation of the property. If you have any questions about the appraisal process, don’t hesitate to contact us at Acadiana Appraisals & Consulting. We’re here to help!

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It’s important that you know what’s going on during the appraisal process. Lenders, agents, homeowners, and buyers all play a vital role.👫 We try our best to keep everyone informed.
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Leveraging Technology and Data

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Modernization of the appraisal industry is underway.
.Our clients have so much to gain with these advances! Utilizing technology and data provides the most ⭐️reliable, ⭐️efficient, and ⭐️secure services.
We’ve made significant investments in technology and data over the past several years. We plan to continue these into the future!
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What happens during an appraisal inspection?

Real estate appraisals typically involve an on-site property inspection.  The appraiser will schedule an appointment in advance with the homeowner or real estate agent.  During the site visit, the appraiser will generally make observations, take pictures, and measure the house.

It can be helpful to know what to expect while the appraiser is at your home.

  1. Measure, observe, and photograph the exterior – Appraisers use a variety of tools to measure the exterior of the house. Any other permanent structures such as guest houses or workshops on the property will also be measured.  These measurements will be used to create a sketch, also known as a basic floorplan, of the house. The appraiser will also take pictures of the exterior and may make notes of his/her
  2. Observe and photograph the interior – The appraiser will need access to enter the house and any other permanent structures on the property. He or she will perform a walk-through of the home where access to all rooms and closets will be necessary.  The appraiser will take pictures of each room.  He or she will observe and potentially make notes regarding the quality and condition of the interior building materials and fixtures.
  3. Potentially check electrical outlets, appliances, window access, and other utilities – Appraisals completed for certain types of lending transactions, such as for FHA loans, have additional requirements. The appraiser may be required to confirm all utilities and appliances are turned on and function properly.  This could include (but is not limited to) testing electrical outlets, turning on water faucets, checking the water pressure, opening windows, testing the HVAC unit, and making sure the appliances are in working condition.
  4. Potentially check the attic – The appraiser may be required to inspect the attic for specific lending transactions. It is important that the homeowner ensures access is available.
  5. Ask for additional details – The appraiser may also have specific questions for the homeowner or agent that could aid in the appraisal process. It can be beneficial to have details prepared regarding items such as recent renovations and/or any recent or needed repairs.

A few other helpful tips that ensure the process goes smoothly:

  1. Properly restrain pets – Appraisers get to meet all types of furry family members every day! Some typically friendly pets may not always welcome the appraiser in their territory.  It’s recommended that all pets are appropriately handled during the appointment.
  2. Unlock sheds, outdoor buildings, etc. – The appraiser must look inside all permanent structures on the property. Everyone remembers to give the appraiser access to the house, but please don’t forget about the other buildings.
  3. Don’t worry about the house being spotless – The appraiser has observed homes of many varying conditions, and appraisers can professionally look past everyday clutter. Most importantly, the appraiser needs easy access to each room and with unobstructed views.  Please keep in mind the photographs of the house will appear in the appraisal report.

If you have specific requests for the appraiser while visiting your home, please let us know!  The appraiser appreciates the invitation into your home, and they wants to make the homeowners comfortable.

Please give our office a call if you have any specific questions about the site visit.

The Appraisal Process – 3 Steps

Each appraisal is unique, but the overall general process tends to follow three general steps.  Ultimately, the final opinion of value is what many people want to know, but the process to reach that final value is detailed and thorough.  Here’s a brief overview of those three steps:

  1. Site Visit The site visit occurs when the appraiser visits the property. It is also commonly referred to as an appraisal inspection.  Once we receive a request for an appraisal, our office will reach out to the homeowner or real estate agent to schedule a day and time for the appointment.  The appraiser will perform a variety of tasks during the appointment.  Some of the tasks will include measuring the exterior, making visual observations of the exterior and interior, and taking photographs of all the interior rooms.  Appointments typically last 30-45 minutes but can be longer for larger and/or more complex properties.


  1. Offsite Research and Report Writing The offsite research is typically the most time intensive portion of the appraisal process. The amount and level of research varies by property, but the appraiser spends several hours at the computer working on each property.  The subject property is closely examined, the market is analyzed, and recent sales are studied.  The data is collected and summarized in an appraisal report format.


  1. Arriving at a Value Conclusion The appraiser arrives at the final value conclusion after all research and analysis has been completed.  The opinion of value is often referred to as the appraised value.  This value can be expressed as a single value or a range of values.  It is documented within the final appraisal report.


To understand more about the appraisal process or how we may be able to assist you with your valuation needs, please reach out to us at 337-714-8378 or AcadianaAppraisals@gmail.com.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you!