During the refinancing process, you will need a residential appraiser’s valuation to determine the worth of your home and the mortgage terms available to you. To garner a fair and accurate appraisal, prepare yourself and your home by learning what to expect.
Whether you are feeling the weight of changing home interest rates, considering changing your mortgage agreement, or want to change lending institutions, a refinance is probably your best option. Reach out to potential lenders or brokers to learn about your refinancing options to take advantage of today’s lower interest rates, your improved credit score, or a different mortgage rate or length.
If your lender determines you are eligible, part of the refinancing process involves a home appraisal from a professional Arkansas residential appraiser to make sure your home’s value matches the amount you want to refinance for. Knowing how a home appraisal works and what to expect can help you be confident that you are getting the best possible terms for your refinance.
How Does the Real Estate Appraisal Process Work?
A real estate appraisal is a professional estimate of the value of your home based on an analysis of your property and value of other similar homes in your area. The purpose of a home appraisal for refinance is to ensure the mortgage company that they are not lending more than the current Fair Market Value for your property. Therefore, a low appraisal can prevent you from being able to refinance your home. It’s important to note that the appraiser hired in this situation is an outside expert, meaning the appraiser works independently from the mortgage company to avoid any potential bias.
Preparing Your Home for the Appraisal Process
As a homeowner, the best way you can prepare for the appraiser’s inspection is by presenting your house in a light that allows for a fair assessment of the true value of your home. Before they arrive, take the following actions:
- Clean each room of your house so all of its features are visible and easy to inspect.
- Make a list of upgrades or improvements you have made since the home’s purchase.
- Complete minor repairs and any unfinished home improvement projects.
- Clean your front yard, trim your landscaping, and mow your lawn to make the best first impression.
All of these steps help to show the home’s value and the investment you have made in the property. Proper maintenance, upgraded features, and efficient or convenient amenities all work to substantiate the claims you make. Ignoring the importance of upkeep, repairs, or proper preparation could result in a lower estimate.
Getting Ready to Answer Any Questions
The appraiser will likely ask you several questions to help complete their valuation report. Ask your lender ahead of time for the specific notes they have requested from the appraiser so you can anticipate which questions you may get asked. Normal questions to expect include:
- When did you purchase the property?
- When was the last time you repaired your roof?
- Does your fireplace function properly?
- Have you added on any square footage?
- Do your heating and cooling systems work?
Fulfilling the Appraisal
The home appraiser will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to inspect the premises in order to later assess your home’s value, taking a detailed look both inside and outside. The appraiser will measure the dimensions to calculate square footage, and will take note of features such as flooring, the number of rooms and bathrooms, fireplaces, pools, etc. To support their measurements and final valuation, the appraiser is also required to take photos and include them in the report sent to your lender.
The Arkansas residential appraiser utilized for your home’s valuation is an important one in the process of refinancing your home. Contact Ferstl Valuation Services in our Little Rock office at 501-313-0641 or our Fayetteville office at 479-595-0245 if you have any questions. To get the appraisal step of your refinance application completed as soon as possible, request a home appraisal today.