Be Prepared When Preparing to Sell Your Home

Buying and selling a home shouldn’t be a mystery, but many people are unclear on the various aspects of the real estate appraisal process.  If you have never sold a home before, you may wonder exactly what is going to happen when a home appraiser comes to your house and if there is anything you should be doing to prepare.

During a home appraisal, the appraiser will determine the fair market value of your property. This is based on research on the selling prices of homes in your neighborhood and on an inspection of your house and property. When doing the appraisal every room in the house is inspected. Appraisers must consider many factors during an appraisal. We will look at the condition of every area; are the walls and floors in good shape or badly damaged? Are there signs of problems, like pooled water on a basement floor near the washer or stains on the ceilings indicating there may have been a roof leak? What is the condition of the exterior – siding, roof, deck, etc.  All of these conditions affect the value of a home.

We also look at fixtures in your house. Do you have new, high-quality appliances? Do you have new windows? Was the carpet or hard wood floor recently replaced? Did you add new fixtures to the bathrooms recently? All of these things can add to the appraised value.

Appraisers also inspect the outside of the house. We will measure the entire house from the outside, as well as your entire property. We will take pictures of every side of the house. Certain exterior factors can affect the value of your home. For instance, a new roof or siding door can add to the value. Having a corner lot or a property with a view that many people enjoy will also add to its value. On the other hand, a view overlooking something very unsightly may work against you. Environment and location are also included in the valuation. Homes in nice neighborhoods – convenient for shopping, transportation, and with good schools, will be valued higher than the same house in a less desirable area.

We also consider how the home’s appearance compares to that of comparable homes, the number of foreclosures in the neighborhood, the local economy and it’s impact on the market, as well as new developments in the area.

Is there anything you can do to prepare for an appraiser’s visit? We recommend that if there are any problems in the house that will be easily visible that you fix them. For instance, if your roof is leaking, have the leak fixed and re-paint the ceiling. If a pipe is leaking and causing water damage to your floors, call a plumber to repair it and then fix the floor tiles that were warped. Telling the appraiser that you plan to fix them later will not help the value.

Typically an appraisal is needed for a bank to determine the fair market value. The bank needs this information to make a decision about how much to lend to the home buyer. Banks must follow particular loan-to-value ratios when issuing mortgages. It takes anywhere from a day to several days to complete an appraisal. Once it is done, your lender will provide you with a copy of the appraisal. It will have the fair market value of your house. If you have done your homework before pricing your home, the fair market value should be very similar to the selling price.

At Premier Home Appraisals, we are experts at looking at all of these complicated factors and coming up with the most reliable appraisal for your home. We work closely with our clients and local lenders to make sure all of the information is conveyed in a timely and appropriate manner. Because we are specialists in the entire Washington Metropolitan area, we know the local neighborhoods well and our appraisals are very accurate. Contact us with questions or to schedule your next home appraisal.