Estate Appraisals

WE'RE HERE to meet all your Texas area real estate needs!

In our over forty years of appraisal experience, we have noticed that we are often involved in the happiest and, unfortunately sometimes, the saddest events of many peoples’ lives. We are with you when you buy your first home. We are there when you move up to a home large enough for your growing family, and finally, we are there when you buy that retirement home in the country or on the beach. Sometimes though, life throws an unexpected curve ball at you. If you need an appraisal for an estate, we’ll be there for you, with the same caring professionalism you have grown to expect.

What’s the difference between an appraisal done for mortgage lending or for an estate?

The answer is everything and nothing. The appraisal process itself is the same for all appraisal work. The deference is in the details, such as the desired effective date of the valuation.

Many attorneys and CPA’s as well as the IRS want estate appraisals to value the property as of the decedent’s date of death. This is particularly true if the property is to be kept and not placed on the market for sale. The appraised value may be needed primarily for estate tax purposes.

I didn’t know I needed an appraisal. The date of death was two years ago. Can you help me?

Sure. It is common for us to get a request to appraise a property as of one, two, or even more years back. There has been a death. At the time, everyone is caught up in the emotions of the moment. No one knew at the time that an appraisal of the real estate would be needed. Later, someone figures out they need an appraisal for tax purposes. There’s a lot of paperwork required to die. Our customers are pleased to find out we can help them when they need it.

Technically, an appraisal done as of a date in the past is known as a “retrospective appraisal”. It may be hard to imagine, but we can provide an opinion of value on a property as of any date in the past. We do them all the time.

Sometimes the primary purpose of an estate appraisal is to determine the fair market value of the property for a division of assets. One beneficiary may want to keep the real estate, while the remaining beneficiaries want to make certain the correct value is applied to the property. They may want that valuation as of the date of death or as of a current date. Many times, our vast experience in this area will aid in making that determination.

Our estimate of market value will aid in the decision to either sell the property and split the proceeds, or have one heir buy the remaining heirs out. If the purpose of the appraisal is to aid in the division of assets, we would like to point out that the appraised value is NOT a “net proceeds to seller” figure. An appraised value reflects “gross” sales price.

By definition, appraised value reflects the “most probable sales price” of the subject property. There are numerous seller expenses that are commonly associated with the sale of a property. These often include advertising, property maintenance, marketing expenses, Realtor commissions, Title insurance, taxes, attorney fees and other miscellaneous closing costs typically due to the seller.

We have found that these expenses tend to range from 6% of the gross sales price to over 10% depending on the type of property. We recommend that the users of an appraisal report are knowledgeable of these costs and consider them when calculating a specific settlement.

Why choose us?

If you are the executor (or executrix), you have been entrusted to carry out the wishes of the decedent. You were likely selected because you were known to be fair, honest, impartial, and objective. You should expect the same of the professionals you need during this time. Our appraisals are completely independent, impartial, and objective. Our professionalism is unmatched. Ask around. You’ll hear about our reputation for honesty and integrity.

We have the experience necessary to provide professional appraisals that stand up in court. We are regularly called upon to act as experts in many real estate valuation issues. We have performed numerous appraisals utilized in settling of estates.

We care.

Death is a part of life. We are sorry you going through it. Settling an estate can be a stress-filled time for everyone involved. Except us. Our job is relatively simple. We tell you the value of the real estate. We’ve done that every day of our professional careers. Your job is to make financial decisions based on the decedents wishes. So let us be a part of the solution to your real estate needs.


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Mike Brubaker