Having an idea in what is involved in appraising a piece of property can greatly help in maximizing the appraised value and avoiding costly details and re-inspections. The appraisal process consists of several steps. The following are the major steps in the sequence normally followed by appraisers:
• Research the subject property as to size, bedrooms, baths, year built, lot size and square footage.
• Gather data of recent sales in the subject's neighborhood. The appraiser needs to locate at least 3 and preferably similar-sized homes that have sold and closed escrow in the neighborhood. The homes need to be within one mile of the subject and sold within the past six months. These homes are considered the "Comparable Properties" or "Comps" for short. Field inspection consists of two parts: first the inspection of the subject property, and second, the exterior inspection of the comparable properties which have been selected to estimate the value of the subject property.
• The subject inspection consists of taking photos of the street scene, front of the home and rear of the home, which may include portions of the yard. The appraiser will make an interior inspection for condition, noting any items that would detract from or add to the value of your home. He will also draw a floor plan of the home while doing the inspection.