15 Jan Getting Ready for Your Appraisal.
Home appraisals are a piece of the selling process where you are going have to have little control over the process. Lenders often require the use of their own, FHA-approved home appraiser and that means you do not get a say in who’s determining the financial value of the home you lived in. It sounds stressful and overwhelming but here are some things you can do to help navigate the process of home appraisals.
- Keep in mind that home appraisers aren’t magicians
An appraiser won’t know what your home is worth the second he walks in the door. An appraiser will pull comparable listings from the nearby area. These are homes similar in style, location, and footage sold within the past few years. Then they will come by your house to determine its condition and quality, as well as any other factors that would affect the cost of the home, and use that information, along with the comps, to make an accurate assessment.
- Prep your space — and its occupants for the home appraisals
The home appraiser isn’t coming by to judge the cleanliness of your home but it’s still good to declutter, dust, and mop beforehand to show your home in its best light.
Home appraisals won’t typically devalue your home because it’s messy but a neat, organized home might help you.
Also, make sure the occupants of your home are prepared for the appraiser’s arrival, including teenagers who tend to stay holed up in their rooms.
- Get your paperwork in order before home appraisals
Before home appraisals, gather all the information you have about the house and send it over. Most appraisers will ask for this upfront, either directly or through the lender or broker.
Having a list of major improvements as well as detailed info about the age and condition of the roof, HVAC systems, and major appliances, means less work and less time before a final assessment can be reached.
- Don’t engage in listing ‘puffery’
Before listing, make sure you and your agent take a realistic look at what your home offers. Are you including the basement square footage in the total? Are you hoping no one will notice your roof isn’t new? Preparing yourself ahead of time with a realistic estimate will ease the appraisal process.
And above all else, make sure not to fudge the numbers. This is particularly rampant in areas where the assessor’s information isn’t accessible online. After all, who will notice? Your appraiser will and they are happy to go to the office and pull 20 or 30 comps.