Knowing what to expect when a home real estate appraiser comes to your home helps you prepare for a quick and successful house valuation process. Learn how to prepare for a home appraisal to get the best sales price for your property.
A home appraisal is an objective house valuation on your property, and an appraiser establishes the fair market value of your home. In fact, the lender hires and pays the home real estate appraiser to determine whether to grant you a mortgage loan. Therefore, knowing how to prepare for a home appraisal helps ensure a smooth mortgage application process.
What an Appraiser Does
A home real estate appraiser performs a house valuation on your property. This includes a room-by-room inspection of the interior of your home. He or she will also walk around the perimeter of the property to inspect the exterior condition. If you have a finished basement, built-in bar, or swimming pool in good condition, the improvements are noted and could increase your home appraisal. The appraiser notes safety violations and any breaches of health codes. Finally, he or she records the property layout, including any outbuildings.
How to Prepare for a Home Appraisal
According to a recent NAR study, a home real estate appraiser performs up to 500 valuations a year. Make their job as easy as possible to establish a rapport. Being nice to your appraiser will not add thousands of dollars to the house valuation, but it helps the process move along more smoothly.
In order to prepare for a house valuation, be proactive by anticipating and fixing any problem areas.
1. Learn from prior appraisals
Unless you moved into a new home, you can find past appraisals and fix anything flagged at that time. Many of these issues are not that expensive, such as replacing gutters or repairing worn sidewalks.
2. Gather documents the home real estate appraiser needs.
Some documents the appraiser may request include:
- Recent land surveys to verify lot size
- Documents showing last sales price
- List of improvements with receipts or invoices
3. Tidy up.
If you are selling your home, you probably already spent a lot of time editing your possessions, clearing closets, and cleaning up the landscaping. If things have started to accumulate again, consider a storage unit or spend a Saturday carrying unwanted items to the curb. Get rid of clutter and make sure your pets are out of the way on the day of the inspection.
4. Invest in curb appeal.
If you do not currently have a lawn service, now is the time to invest in one. Keep the lawn neatly cut and manicured, trim hedges or overgrown tree limbs, and clear out the gutters. Little things count. If the door could stand another coat of paint or the mailbox is falling off its post, fix as much as you can prior to your appraisal.
5. Make minor repairs.
Inside the home, look for things that immediately catch your eye. Touch up chipped paint, replace broken doorknobs and hinges, and really take a close look at other opportunities to spruce up your home.
For more tips on how to prepare for a home appraisal, contact Ferstl Valuation Services at (501) 313-0641 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.