The Importance Of A Professional Real Estate Appraisal

Because a large percentage of equity (both private and corporate)  lies in real estate, properly determining the value of real estate investments are essential to economic health. It is our job as professional appraisers to determine property value by gathering, analyzing, and applying information on each property that we appraise. As appraisers we are trained to be an impartial third party in the lending process protecting real estate buyers from overpaying for property as well as lenders from over lending to buyers.

Is an appraisal the same thing as an inspection?

An appraiser is not a contractor, inspector, engineer, electrician, plumber, or  H.V.A.C. technician. The appraiser tours the property to get an idea of the subject property's location, general condition, exterior and interior finish, construction quality, size, etc. An appraisal is not a guarantee of condition. Your appraiser will form an opinion of the condition and quality of your property versus competing properties in the marketplaces.

How long does an appraisal take?

After the initial inspection of the property the appraiser spends time touring through the neighborhood or area. The purpose of this tour is to search for similar properties and sales in recent history.  When the field work is finished, the appraiser completes a report which can consist of a short form report (less than ten pages) or a more extensive narrative report for commercial properties.  For information regarding the timeline for completion of your specific project, contact us here.

What information can I provide to assist in the appraisal process?

A survey of the property; Your most recent tax bill; A deed or title report showing the legal description;  A copy of the original plans & specifications; A list of recent improvements ; A list of personal property to be included in the sale of the property;  The date of purchase and purchase price;  as well as any additional information that you feel may be pertinent will assist with the appraisal process.

What is the process of an appraisal?

The appraisal process is an orderly and concise method of reaching an opinion of value. The process has six major steps which include: definition of the problem, preliminary survey and appraisal plan, data collection and analysis, application of the three approaches to value, reconciliation of value indications, final opinion of defined value. This process assists the appraiser in reaching a sound conclusion. The major phase of this process involves the application of the three different approaches to valuation which are then reconciled to determine the most applicable approach.  It is important to hire an appraiser with the experience, training, and background to do quality work that you can rely on. 

What does market value mean?

Fair market value is the most probable price that a property will sell for in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale.

What are comps? 

Comps are comparable sales, comparable leases, or cost comparables. They are properties that are similar to the subject property in most respects and if possible are located nearby, and transacted or occurred recently. The selection of comparable sales is the building block of forming an opinion of value. Part of the appraiser’s responsibility is to thoroughly research the local real estate market and determine which comps best represent the value characteristics of the property being appraised.

What does highest & best use mean?

Typically, highest & best use means the use or utilization of the real estate that provides the most profitable return on investment. It is the use (selected from reasonably probable and legal uses for a specific property) that results in the highest possible property value.

What is the difference between an appraisal report and restricted-use report?

Restricted Use Appraisal Report
A Restricted Use appraisal report contains minimal detail and narrative. This is the least common appraisal report type because it does not satisfy the needs of most lenders. The presentation of facts and analyses is limited. That is, the appraisal will establish the value of the property, but the explanation as to why is limited. Our firm's Restricted Use reports are less expensive than Summary or Self-Contained reports and provide greater detail than most of our competitors. If the end user of the appraisal is not a lending institution, ask us about this option.

Appraisal Report
A narrative appraisal report is the most common report for commercial appraisals. This type of report contains a moderate-to extensive level of detail and satisfies the needs of lenders and large institutions. Appraisal reports can have one, two, or three approaches, depending on the appraisal problem, property type, and/or use of the appraisal.

Across Southwest Louisiana

Our professional services are available throughout southwest Louisiana including but not limited to: Lafayette Parish, Iberia Parish, St. Martin Parish, St. Mary Parish, St. Landry Parish, Jefferson Davis Parish, Calcasieu Parish, Allen Parish, and Vermilion Parish.


300 Rue Beauregard
Building J
Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 233-1996