Your Guide to the Home Appraisal
Published | Written by Parbatie Galvan
When it comes to buying or selling a home, one of the most important factors to consider is the home’s value. That’s where a home appraisal comes in. A home appraisal is an unbiased evaluation of a property’s value by a licensed appraiser. The appraiser considers a variety of factors, including the condition of the property, the location, and the current real estate market, to determine the home’s worth.
If you’re planning on buying or selling a home, understanding the home appraisal process is essential. Here’s a guide to help you navigate through the process:
1. Understand the Purpose of the Home Appraisal
The primary purpose of a home appraisal is to determine the fair market value of a property. The fair market value is the price that a willing buyer and seller would agree upon in an open market, without any undue influence. A home appraisal is typically required by a lender to ensure that the loan amount is not greater than the home’s value. This protects both the borrower and the lender from overpaying for the property.
2. The Appraisal Process
During a home appraisal, the appraiser conducts a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home. He or she factors in a variety of things, including the home’s floor plan functionality, condition, location, school district, fixtures, lot size, and more. An upward adjustment is generally made if the home has a deck, a view, or a large yard. The appraiser will also compare the home to several similar homes that were sold within the last six months in the area.
To ensure a fair and accurate appraisal, it’s important to prepare your home for the appraiser’s visit. Start by decluttering and cleaning your home, both inside and out. Make sure all of your major home systems (such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical) are in good working order. If you’ve made any recent updates or renovations, provide the appraiser with a list of these improvements.
3. Review the Appraisal Report
Once the appraisal is complete, the appraiser will provide you with a report outlining their findings. Review the report carefully to ensure that all of the information is accurate. If you believe there are errors in the report, you can challenge the appraisal with the appraiser or your lender.
In conclusion, a home appraisal is a critical step in the home buying and selling process. By understanding the purpose of the appraisal, understanding the process of the appraisal, preparing for the appraisal, and reviewing the appraisal report, you can ensure a fair and accurate appraisal of your property’s value.