A key aspect of the home buying and selling process is obtaining a home appraisal. A home appraisal is secured to estimate market value and can be quite complex. Recently there has been a change in the home appraisal process, resulting in more regulation, so work with your lender to confirm you have an experienced and knowledgable appraiser reviewing your home.
When selling your home, your appraisal can affect the home sales price, so make sure you know your “comps.” “Comps” are simply market comparisons that reflect other homes that have sold in your neighborhood, zip code, and area. Review these comparisons by calling us for comparisons BEFORE your appraiser visits to make sure that all recently sold homes are included in the current statistics. Often homes sold as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) may not be included by appraisers, which can alter statistics they use to determine your home’s value.
Next, look at your home as though you were a home buyer, as checking that your home appears well-maintained is vital. Spend some time cleaning the home entrance and painting as necessary to spruce up the entry, making your best first impression. The rest of your home should be clean and clutter-free, as well.
More importantly though, you need to create a “value-added” list of things that make YOUR home distinct. Whether it be its size and views, or the condition of your property as compared to others in your neighborhood or any upgrades you may have made, these need to be explained to the appraiser. Be sure to be respectful as you review these and other details regarding your property. Review the information the appraiser has brought and suggest revisions if needed to account for changes you have made or errors in the report regarding your location (check the zip code!). When my clients spend one on one time with the appraiser the sale becomes more real (to the appraiser). I have had many favorable results when there is friendly and thoughtful communication between the home owner and appraiser.
Once completed, an appraisal may take several weeks before you can request a copy. It is wise to do so, however, to verify that the appraisal is accurate. Ask your lender and follow the appropriate appeals process if you feel there are errors or omissions that would affect your property’s value.