How Home Appraisers Determine Value

 

When preparing to sell your home, your mortgage lender will usually order an appraisal to determine your level of qualification for the loan, and to make sure you’re not over-borrowing. An appraiser will then inspect your home and prepare a report that includes an analysis regarding the value of the property. It’s required by the Appraisal Institute that in all 50 states, an appraiser should be certified or licensed, have familiarity with the area, and have no personal interest in the transaction. Below are the basic criteria your appraiser will evaluate:

Interior

The appraiser will inspect how your home is constructed to determine quality and take note of damage. The condition and materials of your flooring, windows, walls, doors, fixtures, plumbing, and appliances will have a significant influence on the estimate.

Exterior

The appraiser will look closely at the outside of your home to evaluate the structure, as well as any damages or defects. The condition of the property’s foundation, roof, and siding are also of particular importance, and the appraiser will take note of what materials they are made of to gauge durability.

Amenities

This refers to all the “extras” that your home has to offer. These include outdoor amenities such as a pool, garage, patio, or gazebo, and indoor amenities such as smoke detectors, fireplaces, security systems, or air conditioning.

Square Footage

You’ll need to provide the appraiser with the exact square footage of your home, and each of the rooms. The more bedrooms and bathrooms, the higher the value—a home that’s has more square footage is desirable to buyers because of the potential to expand in the future.

Improvements

If you’ve made any improvements or upgrades to your home since taking ownership, this will most likely increase the appraiser’s estimate. An appraiser will pay particular attention to any improvements in the kitchen or bathrooms, such as a new shower or tub, sink, stove, or oven.

What you can do to prepare:

  • Have the measurements of each room of your home prepared.

  • Clean as much as you can both inside and outside; keep in mind the idea of “curb appeal”

  • If you own any pets, keep them locked up for the day so as not to be a distraction. Your appraiser might have allergies or just dislike animals in general.

  • Take care of any minor repairs in advance, such as a leaky pipe or warped ceiling paint

  • Meet the appraiser when they come to inspect your home and be forthcoming and helpful with any information they need to know.

  • If you’ve many any home improvements, let the appraiser know: it might mean a higher estimated value.

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