Are You Prepared For A Home Appraisal?
Preparing for a home appraisal doesn’t have to be daunting. Even though the appraiser is viewing the bones of your home, it is still a great idea to put your best home forward!
Follow these simple tips to help prepare for the process:
• If your appraisal is for a home sale, the appraiser will take photographs of the inside of your home. Your buyer will receive a copy of your appraisal once it is finished. Therefore, make sure your home presents the same as when your buyer visited for the first time and fell in love with it.
• The appraiser will also view and photograph the exterior of the home (front, back, side yards). Make all exterior areas accessible (and be sure to pick up after outdoor pets).
• When the appraiser calls you for an appointment, discuss safety protocols you would like carried out during the appointment. Appraisers normally will carry gloves, masks and follow COVID-19 protocols, but it will be your responsibility to verify this directly. If you would like the appraiser to wear protective booties in your home over carpeting, it is a good idea to supply these.
• Be flexible on dates and times to meet the appraiser at your home. Generally, appraisers schedule as many field visits as possible in one day in order to make time on other days to draft their reports. They will also work around your schedule as needed.
• Tidy up before the appraiser visits; make beds, clean off surfaces, have all rooms open and accessible. Although the value of your home will not be influenced by the cleanliness, presenting a clean and well cared for home is always best!
• Save your packing for AFTER the appraisal process.
• Make sure animals are secured for their and the appraiser’s safety.
• If you have done any recent or past upgrades you want the appraiser to include in their report, prepare a full list of all upgrades done. While the appraiser will see these during the visit, it is a helpful reminder to send them off with a printed list.
• Remember, not all upgrades add value to the home, such as replacing light switch covers or door knobs. Additionally, upgrades are not given a dollar to dollar value, meaning what you spend on the upgrade or project may not be reflected in the added value to the home. This is particularly seen in pools. You may have spent a lot of money on your pool, but the appraiser will most likely give it less value than the actual cost. Do not be offended by this. Although appraisers have flexibility to assign value to upgrades, there are variables they consider, such as market conditions, the neighborhood, and comparable sales.
• Allow the professional appraiser to do their job. It is illegal for any party in the transaction to try to influence the appraiser’s opinion of value. However, you may provide any information you would like addressed in your appraisal report.
• Remember appraisers are people too – and they are very busy right now. It may take a while for your lender to receive the appraisal report after visiting the home you are purchasing. Remain patient – your lender will advise you when the report has been completed.
The appraisal is an opinion of value. Appraisers use public property records and other public documents to assess and support their reports. It remains vital to stay objective and not take offense to their findings.
Following these steps and being a great host while respecting boundaries will set you up for appraisal success!