What to Expect When an Appraiser Comes to Your House

You’ve received an offer on your home and you’re anticipating the closing process but before that, all sellers must experience the necessary and nerve-wracking ordeal of a home appraisal. 

Industry experts and insiders believe that appraisals are one of the most common reasons why buyers back out of a deal, and even if the seller doesn’t back out, a home appraisal can have a significant impact on the final closing price of your property. 

A survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors in June 2019 revealed that appraisal issues account for 25% of the real estate contract delays. An appraisal can be overwhelming, but if your property is well-kept and you’ve taken measures to upgrade the house and add more value, you have nothing to worry about.

Here’s everything you need to know about what to expect during a home appraisal:

Give the Appraiser Unrestricted Access to the Property

The home appraiser will need unrestricted access to examine and inspect every nook and cranny of your property. The primary responsibility of the appraiser is to examine the property for defects and signs of damage They will examine the construction of the house and examine how the property has been maintained. 

From the attic to the garage, and the basement, prepare yourself to get comfortable with the idea of an appraiser running around your house, examining each corner and inspecting the drainage system, amongst other aspects.

Appraiser Undercover

In order to examine the true market value for your property, the appraiser will go undercover and conduct research on aspects that you yourself are likely unaware of. The appraiser has to do a lot of research behind the scenes and comb through various sources. 

The appraiser will examine private data vendors, county courthouse records, and they will also use the Multiple Listing Service and neighborhood trends to examine the current listing and sales prices across your neighborhood to compare the prices with the value of your property. A field inspection will also be conducted, which typically involves an overview of the external features of properties that compare with your house in terms of size, features and price.

Prepare the House for a Photo Shoot

It is important to keep in mind that the appraiser will take photographs of the exterior and interior of your house. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that all rooms and spaces across the property are squeaky clean, de-cluttered and well-arranged. Be sure to organize the house and spruce it up with natural sunlight and plants before the appraiser arrives.

The appraiser is required to take these photographs as the money lender will be most interested in examining these photos to see the condition of your property. If your house appears to be shabby, cluttered and unkempt, the lenders are likely to assume that your property is ill-maintained. To avoid this, start cleaning up and maintaining the house as soon as you decide to put it up on the market. This way, you can avoid the last-minute stress from going on a massive cleaning spree, and the awful disappointment of rejection from lenders.

Sizing Estimates

The appraiser is required to undertake a thorough estimate of the square footage of the entire property. This includes the exterior and interior of the house, and all living spaces. However, the square footage measurements in the appraiser’s calculations will not include non-living spaces, such as the garage, patio, and porch. This helps account for any changes or expansions you’ve made to your house that may not be reflected on record.

Overview of the Property

The appraiser’s report usually includes an overview of the entire property. This includes the layout of the home, the condition of appliances and other amenities, and any upgrades you may have added to your home. The appraiser will record the number and sizes of rooms and spaces in the house alongside the floor plan and a number of other aspects that helps them determine the overall condition of your property. 

It’s important to note that an appraiser doesn’t perform the same services as a home inspector, but be prepared for them to record all apparent signs of damage and defects in your property. Naturally, in order to ensure you receive the best appraisal possible, be sure to perform thorough repairs and clean up your property to make the interior and exterior of your home appear lively and well-maintained.

Remember, instead of fearing the appraisal, focus your energy on sprucing up your property and adding value that would appeal to both potential buyers and financial lenders. If your house is clean, well-maintained, and you have made upgrades to boost the market value of your property, you have nothing to worry about!

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