What You Can Expect During An Appraisal, And How You Can Prepare For One

If you are selling your home, you can expect a visit from a professional appraiser. The buyer and lender will both want to see the appraised value of your home. While you can’t change their mind about the number they come up with, it is always valuable to know what the appraiser will be looking for.

So, how does the appraiser determine the value of my home?
At its most basic, a home is made up of a foundation, walls and a roof. All three of these play major roles in the functionality and the reliability of a dwelling and the appraiser will pay serious attention to all of them. He or she will be looking for defects in the general construction of the home, as well as for any damage to these components. See: Ten Things Your Appraiser Doesn’t Want You to Know.

An appraiser will focus on any roof or foundational issues first, as these are two of the things that can decide whether or not a home is habitable. Don’t forget that the reason the appraiser is there is to report back to the lender who will be providing the buyer with a mortgage. The bank wants to make sure that they are not lending money on a property that does not have the decent equity in it.

People tend to prefer larger homes and larger lots, so you can expect these to come into play when your home is evaluated. The more bedrooms and bathrooms you have, the more you can expect the house to be worth. Home buyers like the opportunity to expand and are more likely to desire a property that will allow this. The square footage of the home will make up a large portion of what goes into figuring out the appraised value of the home.

While the condition of the exterior is important, the interior condition is equally as important to an appraiser when assessing value. Things like windows and doors, flooring, walls, plumbing, electrical, kitchen and bathroom are all important parts of a home. The appraiser must know about all of these and be able to tell good from bad, and you can rest assured that he or she will look closely at yours. This is true even down to the appliances your home includes and the light fixtures you have installed.

The appraiser will be very interested at any improvements you have made and the quality of those improvements. A new floor, a renovated bathroom or kitchen, new appliances, or an HVAC system – all of these are considered by the appraiser to determine overall value. Buyers and lenders love newer appliances and quality renovations because they contribute to the lasting value of the property.

These can include anything that make a home special. For example, built-in pools, heated floors, heated toilets, elevators. Even basic things such as fireplaces, garages, or alarm systems. All of these special additions to the home will certainly be of interest to the appraiser in terms of adding value to your home. For more information, read this article on Home Appraisal: How to Get Maximum Value.


Michelle Sanchez

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One thought on “What You Can Expect During An Appraisal, And How You Can Prepare For One
  1. admin

    Who chooses the appraiser? Well, unless you’re paying cash for your home (and thus not taking a loan), you’ll have to go through the appraisal process. While the appraisal fee is typically paid by the buyer, the lender chooses the home appraiser to be sure it won’t be biased in the buyer’s favor. Appraisers must be a neutral party.

    According to regulations established by the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, lenders also cannot be affiliated with appraisers. Many lenders opt to request an appraiser from an appraisal management company that has a roster of licensed appraisers.


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