Preparing for Your Home Appraisal
Home appraisals are a necessary step in the process of selling or refinancing your home. While many homes today aren’t worth as much as they were when they were bought, it is crucial for homeowners to be realistic when it comes to getting their home appraised. Homeowners also must keep in mind that they cannot sell their home for more than its appraised value unless it is a cash transaction.
If you are in the process of getting your home ready to be put on the market or interested in refinancing, the experts at Equity Mortgage Lending offer the following things to keep in mind as you prepare for your home appraisal.
- The appraiser will need approximately 30 minutes to one hour to complete the inspection phase of the appraisal process, which includes: exterior photos of the front and rear of the home and a photo of the street in front of the property; measurements of the exterior of the home, garage and any outbuildings; a walk-through inspection of all rooms and levels of the interior of the home including the basement.
- Get organized. Put together a checklist that will help you get ready for your appraisal and get the results you're looking for.
- Be flexible when scheduling the appointment and allow yourself and the appraiser enough time to gather all the facts about your house.
- Have a copy of your home’s blueprint to help verify measurements and lot size.
- Provide a list of improvements made to the property since the purchase. Improvements that should be noted include adding a pool, patio, updating your kitchen or bathroom and any room additions, etc.
- Allow your appraiser access to the entire property, including access to any crawl space or attic areas.
- Keep in mind that a clean home makes a good impression. Be sure to trim the lawn, clean the pool and garage, repair cracked windows or torn screens, check for leaky faucets and secure gutters and down spouts before your appraisal.
- Point out any amenities that may not be obvious to the appraiser: sprinkler systems, patios, pools, security systems, built in vacuum, etc.
- Provide a copy of last year's tax assessment information.
- Know what year the house was built and when improvements were made.
- The first thing appraisers look for is comparables, so be prepared and have a list of recent sales of similar properties in the immediate neighborhood or request the assistance of a real estate agent so that they can prepare a fair market analysis of the most recent sales activity in your neighborhood and provide it to your appraiser.