Real Estate Talk Boston

5 Appraisal Best Practices

How to get ready for an appraisal inspection in 5 steps


By: Selena Garcia

To help you better understand how your home’s value impacts your purchase, refinance or home sale we have compiled 5 home appraisal best practices that can help set your expectations and prepare you for the appraisal inspection.

When considering a home refinance, purchase or sale an appraisal report is an essential piece of your loan approval – or your buyer’s approval. Understand, the value of your home is not determined by the age of the appliances or the Japanese maple in the front yard – it’s a little more complicated.

Well, then, what is an appraisal? An appraisal report is an opinion of your property’s value, at a specific point in time, based on some specific elements.

Some of the key elements in an appraisal report include: the actual age of the home, the living square footage, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms. While you don’t have much control over the actual value of your home, or future home, there are some steps you can take to ensure the most accurate value.

1. Hire a Knowledgeable Professional. Whether you are selling, buying or refinancing requesting an appraisal professional well-versed in your area is perfectly acceptable.

2. Make Sure All Important Information is Included. Make sure your appraiser is doing everything he or she can to report on the most accurate information. During the inspection the appraiser should be taking notes, asking pertinent questions about your home and taking pictures.

3. Share your Research. The appraiser will consider similar homes within a one-mile radius, recent market trends and land value while calculating the value for your home. It’s a great idea to share any research you’ve done on recent sales, short sales or foreclosures in your area during this step.

4. Document Recent Updates. If you have recently updated your home, provide the appraiser with a punch-list of the improvements. Even small updates such as: light fixtures, a repaired ceiling crack or a fresh coat of paint can help breathe life into your home and help return the best value. Remember, documentation always helps!

5. Clean Up. While a clean home will not add value, it’s always a good idea to show the appraiser your home in the best possible light.

While there is no way to guarantee a specific value for your home, there are steps you can take to receive the most accurate appraisal report and value. For more information on appraisals, download our free eBook, “Appraisals Explained”.

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