Are you considering selling your home or refinancing your existing mortgage to make some much-needed home improvements? One of the most significant items standing between you and the money is a home appraisal. Whether you are a buyer, owner, or seller its important to know how the home appraisal process works. Simply put, a home appraisal is when a professional appraiser gives their objective opinion on the value of a home. Keep reading to get some tips for getting a higher home appraisal.
What is a home appraisal?
A home appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home’s value. Home appraisals are primarily used in home purchase-and-sale transactions. Besides this, home appraisals are also commonly used in refinance transactions. When it comes to purchase-and-sale transactions, home appraisals are used to ascertain whether a home’s price is appropriate. In a refinance transaction, a home appraisal is used to assure a lender that they are not handing the borrower more money than the home is worth.
How the appraisal process works
It is important that the appraiser is qualified, licensed and certified. Moreover, an appraiser must be impartial and have no direct or indirect interest in the transaction. A property’s appraisal value is influenced by recent sales of similar properties as well as current market trends. Other key factors in assessing a home’s value include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size and amenities it has. With this in mind, an appraiser has to carry out a visual inspection of the exterior and interior of the home. In addition, an appraiser has to make note of any conditions that adversely affect the home’s value. An appraiser will also look at the upgrades that have been done to the home.
How to prepare for a home appraisal
Do sufficient preparations before you have a home appraisal done. Start your preparations by thoroughly cleaning the interior and exterior of your home. Your home should show that it has looked after very well over the years. Additionally, you need to fix or repair anything that requires attention.
How to get a higher home appraisal value
1. Develop a list of improvements
Firstly, make a list of all the improvements and upgrades you’ve done to your home. Where possible list all the improvements, the cost and the dates when completed. While neighbourhood comparables are essential to a home appraisal, proof of improvements will impact the appraiser’s final number.
2. Explain the comparables
Secondly, you need to undertake sufficient research on similar properties that sold in your area over the last few months. It is important to understand why some properties have sold for less than you would like yours to appraise for. Figure out if these properties had structural issues or where in need of attention. You should share this information with your appraiser to give them a better understanding of why your home should be valued higher.
3. Spruce up the exterior
The exterior of a home is the first thing that anyone sees. Make sure that the exterior of your home makes a great first impression on the appraiser. Mow your lawn and attend to various landscape features. Ensure that pathways and driveways are clean and swept.
4. Give the appraiser space
While you may want to escort the appraiser around the house to highlight everything that is great about the house, smothering them can have a detrimental effect. It may seem like there is something you are trying to hide and that might influence the appraiser’s appraisal. Instead, give the appraiser an overview of your home when they arrive and update them on all the improvements undertaken. Then let the appraiser get on with the appraisal on their own.