If you’re trying to sell your home, there’s a good chance that you will need a home appraisal before the sale can be finalized.
A home appraisal is used to determine the current value of your home based on a number of factors, including neighborhood sales comparisons and current property values. However, homeowners are often confused about what exactly goes into a home appraisal and how it can affect the value of their home. Understanding the home appraisal process can help you better prepare and avoid mistakes that could decrease the value of your home.
Why Do I Need a Residential Appraisal?
When you find a potential buyer for your home, their mortgage company will require an appraisal to ensure that the value of your home is, at least, equal to the agreed-upon sale price. Banks don’t want to lend a home buyer more money than the home they’re buying is worth – the bank could lose a lot of money that way. An appraisal is often one of the last steps taken before a loan offer is extended and a closing date is decided upon.
What to Expect From the Process
You can help make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible by having all the necessary documentation readily available on the day of the appraisal, including:
- Your current home title
- A copy of a recent property tax statement
- A land survey or plot plan of your property
It can also be helpful to include a list of any major improvements that you’ve made to the home in recent years that may not be immediately obvious, such as a new roof or a patio. If possible, include the date of each major improvement and an estimation of the cost. If you’re selling any other items with the home (such as an above-ground pool or a swing set), be sure to let your appraiser know about these as well.
Be prepared to allow your appraiser total access to your property; this includes any sheds, crawl space, attics, etc. This may mean taking the time to do a little de-cluttering, as your appraiser needs access to these areas to come up with a fair value. Making his job as easy as possible by clearing out these spaces will work in your favor by creating a positive first impression.
Finally, while you should make yourself available to answer any questions your appraiser may have while examining your home, there’s no need to follow them around your property. Don’t crowd your appraiser or argue with their findings.
To learn more about home appraisals in Arkansas, contact Ferstl Valuation Services at 501.313.0641 to schedule a free consultation. We have over 45 years in the residential appraisal and valuation business, and we’re more than happy to share our expertise.