Date of Death Valuations

Date of Death Valuation: Historical Appraisals

Determining Property Values of an Estate

Date of Death Valuations determine the value of real estate as of the date that the owner died.

Reasons for Date of Death Valuations Include:

  • Estate tax liability
  • Disposition of assets under a will or in probate (Estate Appraisals)

These situations are usually stressful and complex, and must be handled carefully and with practices that will hold up in court, i.e., are defensible.

A Date of Death valuation requires an historical appraisal, also known as a retrospective appraisal.


This type of appraisal determines the Fair Market Value of property as of a specific date in the past.
Attorneys, accountants and executors and others rely on Appraisal IQ for Date of Death valuations because of the familiarity and experience we have in performing residential real estate appraisals in the local real estate market in Austin and Central Texas.

Be Prepared for the Appraisal

In order to facilitate the appraisal of property as of a date in the past, you may need to provide records such as deeds, inspection records or photographs that can substantiate the condition of the property at the time the records were created. The appraiser will use this information as well as historical market data (such as sales in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)) and construction data (cost to build) to determine the market value of the real estate as of the date required.

If you need an appraisal for a divorce, or for dividing assets, or for another reason that requires a historical appraisal, please email info@theappraisaliq.com, or call (512) 541-2107 for more information.

Estate Appraisals | Estate Appraisal for Valuing Real Estate

Estate Appraisals: Family Values

Example of a home for an estate appraisal
When the owner of a home like this dies, an estate appraisal will figure out what the property is worth so the heirs get their fair share.

Estate appraisals determine the value of real estate.

When someone dies, an estate appraisal will need to be done on the real estate owned by the person who has died to figure out what their property is worth. This is important so that the person’s heirs receive what they are supposed to receive from the person’s estate.

The estate appraisal will also help to figure out what taxes are owed, which can be really complicated.

To value an estate, you need (at a minimum):

  • A trusted member of the legal profession (aka, an Attorney)
  • A good Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • A Certified Real Estate Appraiser (a Certified Residential Appraiser)

A Date of Death Valuation for An Estate Appraisal

Estate Appraisals figure out the value of property as of a certain date, which is not usually the date that the appraisal is ordered. Instead, a date of death valuation will give the actual market value of the property as of the date of death of the owner(s).

The Executor: An Important and Exhausting Job

The Executor of an estate carries out the wishes of the deceased. This can be a hard job when the person’s heirs are not in agreement over how the estate should be divided.

Real Estate is a Major Asset

Real Estate is frequently one of the major assets that must to be handled as part of an estate.

A professional estate appraisal should be performed by a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser to determine the market value of the property. Because the date of death is usually different than the date that the appraisal is ordered, an historical appraisal (also called a retrospective appraisal) is the type of appraisal that can provide the value as of the date of the event in question – in this case, the date of death of the property owner.

Don’t Pay More Taxes Than Necessary

Because taxes can be a substantial part of the cost of settling an estate, it is critical to establish a Market Value that will stand up in court, i.e. that is defensible if it were to be challenged.

This Fair Market Value as of the date of death, should be substantiated with a detailed report (i.e. the estate appraisal) that provides the real market data and analysis that was used by the professional real estate appraiser to support the opinion of value.

Be Prepared for the Appraisal

In order to facilitate the appraisal of property as of a date in the past, you may need to provide records such as deeds, inspection records or photographs that can substantiate the condition of the property at the time the records were created. The appraiser will use this information as well as historical market data (such as sales in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)) and construction data (cost to build) to determine the market value of the real estate as of the date required.

Historical Appraisals – When and Why is a Historical Appraisal Required?

Historical Appraisals (Retrospective Appraisals)

Historical appraisals (also known as retroactive appraisals) are performed when a situation requires an appraisal of property to determine Market Value where the effective date of the appraisal is a date in the past.

Banks and lenders usually require a real estate appraisal in order to determine that the value of a property (the Market Value) is at least as much as the value of the loan that the lender will be making on the property. The effective date of this type of appraisal is the date that the report is written. These are the most common type of real estate appraisals.

Other situations may require an historical appraisal to determine Market Value as of a specific date in the past.

Some instances of when an historical appraisal (retroactive appraisal) would be necessary are:

  • to determine the value of property as of the date of a death (date of death valuation) or the date of a divorce of the owners.
  • to determine a decline in value of a property that you sold at a loss (like an investment property) in order to claim a loss for tax purposes.
  • to determine the market value of property as of the date that a taxing district assessed the value for property taxation.
  • In order to facilitate the appraisal of property as of a date in the past, you may need to provide records such as deeds, inspection records or photographs that can substantiate the condition of the property at the time the records were created. The appraiser will use this information as well as historical market data (such as sales in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)) and construction data (cost to build) to determine the market value of the real estate as of the date required.

    If you need an appraisal for an divorce, or for dividing assets, of for another reason that requires an historical appraisal, please email info@theappraisaliq.com, or call (512) 541-2107 for more information.