What should you prepare before a property appraisal? Here is a checklist of the things your need and a rundown of mistakes you can avoid.
Whether you are selling your house to start a new journey or refinancing your current home, having an appraisal is important to determine the fair market value of a home. You may think that the home appraisal process is out of your control. Still, you will want to browse this home appraisal checklist to make sure you and your home are ready before you have your home appraised by a professional.
What is an Appraiser?
A home appraiser is a licensed or certified professional who provides a qualified opinion of value. Property appraisers must be licensed or certified to provide appraisals to federally regulated lenders. Meaning these are highly trained individuals who understand the area’s current real estate market conditions.
Appraisers are considered third-party participants in a property appraisal process. Their job is to assure mortgage lenders that the amount they are lending does not exceed the property’s true value. Yet, it also assures homebuyers receive a fair, unbiased price for their property.
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What Should you Know About a Home Appraisal?
A home appraisal is an unbiased report about the estimated value of a home which is performed by a trained or licensed individual. If you do not get one, you might risk selling your house at a higher price that no one would want or selling it at a lower price which may hurt your profit.
You should also remember that a property appraisal is different from a house inspection. An inspection determines the current condition of a house, whereas an appraisal indicates your home value. While it never hurts to tidy up, the unmade beds or unwashed dishes will not affect the scales.
Normally, when you are selling your house, a property appraisal, ordered by the buyer’s lender, takes place after the sellers accept the buyer’s offer. When refinancing your existing home, a home appraisal takes place before the final approval of a loan process.
Home Appraisal Checklist
A home appraiser uses several sources of information to determine a property’s value, which includes visiting and inspecting the property in person. So, again, while some factors may be completely out of your hands, it is important to prepare your house before an appraisal.
Here are some of the things worth knowing that an appraiser would look for.
Size of the Property
In property appraisals, size matters quite a bit. The bigger the size of your lot, the higher the value of a home. After all, who would not want a bigger garage or a bigger lawn?
An appraiser would also consider the size of your home and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
The external condition of your home indeed is one of the significant factors in the property appraisal. But this is not the only thing being considered when it comes to the external aspect in determining the appraisal value of a home.
What are the Outdoor Considerations for Property Appraisal?
You would want to make sure that your house conforms to this appraisal checklist:
- A good landscape
- Working garage door
- A green and well-cut lawn
- A tidy garden
- Fine, concrete gutters
- Well-maintained paint and walls
You should remember that when home appraisers are determining the value of your property, all factors outside your home, and not just the house, matter. Make sure that the appraiser can get around the entire perimeter of the house when he visits. You would also want to contain pets anywhere safe just to be sure.
The same goes with the exterior condition. This refers to the internal appearance of your house and the working condition of normal household assets. As a homeowner, you should make sure that when an appraiser visits your house for inspection, all rooms, including all bedrooms and bathrooms, are accessible.
What House Damages can Negatively Affect Property Appraisal?
Below are the things that you should check beforehand that will unfavorably tip of the scale during a property appraisal inspection:
- Plumbing issues
- Roof leaks
- Damaged flooring
- Wall cracks
- Damaged drywall
- Damaged stucco
- Peeling paint
- Broken doors
- Damaged windows
- Unsecure handrails along with any steps
- Damaged railings along with any raised decks
- Exposed floorboards
- Nonfunctional closets
- Dim lighting bulbs
An appraiser would also want a pest inspection done to ensure the home is not secretly housing termites or other uninvited guests. Make sure that you fix all the things that need to be repaired before you list your house for sale. This way, you can price it higher.
Home Improvements and Renovation
Any work you have done or upgrades you have made in your house should be noted to the appraiser. This can include appliances you installed or the upgrades you did with your countertops.
What are the Home Improvements Needed to Qualify for a Loan?
If you are applying for a loan, these are things that you will most likely need to be installed:
- Installed smoke detectors
- Functional air conditioning
- Double strapped water heater
- Functional sewer system
- Working security system
Of course, you would want to make sure that all appliances included in the sale are in good and working condition.
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Preparing all the details you have about your property is a great help for an appraiser. Having all the necessary information that the appraiser might not have can give you the most accurate value for your property. Below are some of the most important information that you should prepare before the appraiser visits.
What Information Should you Prepare for the Home Appraiser?
- HOA Information
- Copies of previous appraisals and sketches
- List of recent improvements and dates
- Any infrastructure or extension that has been added since you bought the house
What does the Home Appraiser need to Know About your Neighborhood?
You also want to make sure that the appraiser does not miss or forget about the positive traits of the neighborhood, such as:
- Nearby schools and colleges
- Nearby parks and green space
- Amenities and shopping
- Public transport locations
Keep in mind that having accurate information will help the appraiser determine your property’s accurate value.
If you’re considering selling or refinancing your house soon, you may be thinking about getting a home appraiser first. This home appraisal checklist will help you prepare. In addition, it is wise to have a basic understanding of how the process works. Lastly, this will help increase appraisal results by maximizing your home value.
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