An Overview of Appraisals

A home purchase is the biggest investment many could ever make. It doesn't matter if it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.


It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known face in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the money required to bankroll the transaction. The title company ensures that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

So what party makes sure the real estate is consistent with the purchase price?   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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Minnesota licensed appraiser from Darcy Morescki Appraisals will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at Darcy Morescki Appraisals is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. We innately understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable property.
At Darcy Morescki Appraisals, we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Winona and Winona County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Darcy Morescki Appraisals will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.