Whether you are buying or selling a property, you probably have a set price in mind. Unfortunately, your idea of a good price will most likely not be the same as what a lender considers a good price. That’s why a lender will always need an objective assessment of the home’s value, an assessment that can only be done by a home appraiser.
Appraising a home, especially in most large cities, is not an easy job. Properties that are just a couple of blocks from one another can differ greatly in price. A home’s proximity to public transit or schools, what floor an apartment is on, and whether or not there is a view are all factors that can make a big difference in the price of two seemingly similar homes.
Knowing what an appraiser will look for during the appraisal process can help you better prepare your home for the appraisal. A few key features of your home that an appraiser will be interested in are:
First, the appraiser will consider the overall size of your home. A larger property is often more desirable to buyers because it gives them the possibility of expanding the home in the future. Another aspect related to property size is the number of rooms. A home with many bedrooms and bathrooms will have extra value since the number of people who can live in the home will be greater.
Before even entering your home, the home appraiser will inspect the outside of your property. This involves looking at the structure of your home and inspecting the foundation, siding and roof to determine what materials they are made from and what condition they are in. The appraiser will also look for any damage to your home, such as leaks or cracks, and defects that may have gone unnoticed when the house was built.
As with the exterior, the appraiser will consider the materials used in the construction of your home; their condition is very important. The main construction of your home, including the walls, flooring, windows and doors, will be carefully inspected to determine quality and identify any damage or defects. The lighting fixtures, kitchen appliances and plumbing are also evaluated during an appraisal; their condition will have an influence on the appraiser’s estimate.
Amenities that contribute to the comfort and safety of a home will greatly improve the appraised value. Appraisers will take into consideration all the extras that your home offers, such as air conditioning, fireplaces, security systems, or smoke detectors. Outdoor amenities, such as a swimming pool, garage or gazebo, could also lead to a higher appraisal.
Improvements that you have made since you took ownership will influence the appraised value of your home. While inspecting the interior of your home, the appraiser will pay attention to upgrades that you have made to your kitchen and bathrooms especially. A new oven, stove, sink or bathtub is a big plus when determining your home’s value. Because the appraiser might not notice all the upgrades that you’ve made, it is important to provide him or her with a list of all the improvements before the appraisal starts.
Simple Ways to Boost Your Home’s Appraisal
A lot of factors that you can’t control will influence the appraisal of your home. The location of your home or the value of other neighborhood houses will definitely have a great impact on your home’s appraised value. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances for a favorable appraisal:
Clean Up Your Home
Get rid of any dirt, clutter and things that might restrict the appraiser’s access to your property. Your home’s curb appeal is also important, so make sure the hedges are trimmed and the gutters are cleaned.
Perform Minor Repairs
That leaky faucet or chipped paint can actually lower the appraisal value of your home. Make sure you take care of all small repairs and improvements before the appraisal starts.
Keep Your Pets Locked Up
If you have pets, you probably allow them to run freely inside the house and in the yard, but appraisers might get annoyed by a dog or cat following them around while they do their job.
Be Honest and Friendly
Last, but not least, help out the appraiser by answering honestly all of his or her questions. Save your questions for after the appraisal process is done.
Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of what appraisers look for during the appraisal process. Do you have any tips that have helped you get a high appraisal?
This guest post was written by Andreea Ion from CurrentMortgageRatesToday.org, a Georgia-based company that provides articles, resources and tools for everything from mortgages to buying and selling a home.