What Appraisers Are Looking at In Your Washington, D.C. Property

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

When you are preparing to buy or sell a property you probably have a set price in mind for what you would like to spend and what you would like to get for your property. Despite all of the preparation you do yourself, a mortgage lender always needs an objective assessment on a property from a third party in order to ensure the proper loans are approved. Enter the home appraiser.

Appraising a home, especially in a large metropolitan area such as Washington, D.C., can be difficult work. Many factors go into an appraiser’s work on a property, and although an appraiser may often look at the same aspects of a home that buyers or sellers look at as well, there is a much more intricate thought process behind what they see and what that means for the home’s value.

In addition to location, here are a few home features that appraisers pay close attention to in Washington, D.C. condos:

Property Size

Most likely, the first check on an appraiser’s list is the overall size of the property. Another aspect of the home itself that appraisers look at is the number of rooms. A property with more bedrooms and bathrooms is more valuable because it allows for more people to live there. An appraiser may also look at a condo’s floor plan.

Homeowner’s Association

Condo appraisal in one major component: Homeowner’s Association fees. Appraisers take into consideration the monthly utilities included in the HOA fees and what amenities are featured. Additionally, appraisers will take into consideration the amount of units in the building are rented out, considered to be second homes and owner-occupied.


The appraiser will also inspect the interior materials used in the construction of the home, gauging their condition. This includes the walls, flooring, windows and doors. Lighting fixtures, kitchen appliances and plumbing are also assessed to make sure the home is up-to-date with current building codes.

Extra Features

Those special features that are appealing to home buyers are just as appealing to home appraisers. Amenities within the unit, such as air conditioners, fireplaces, security systems and smoke detectors make the home a safer and more comfortable place to live. As a result, they also make the home’s value increase. Additionally, features and amenities that are not within the unit but available to its occupants can increase the condo’s value.


If you’ve lived in your home for a long time and made significant upgrades such as kitchen and bathroom appliances and features, this will help to increase the value of the home. Since these improvements aren’t always easy to perceive, it would be wise to provide the appraiser with a list of the work you’ve put into the home prior to the assessment.

If you are interested in Washington, D.C. condos for sale, please contact our team today. We’d love to help you navigate the array of homes on the market and find the perfect property.


Comments (3)

Alan Brock
Keller Williams Realty Points East - Greenville, NC
Brock Realty Group

Great blogpost with good insight for sellers, thanks for sharing.

Dec 02, 2014 11:46 PM
Terry Bishop
Terry Bishop Realty LLC - Tucson, AZ
Earning Your Trust and Confidence...

Thank you for your post Rick.  In more than 22 years of selling real estate, I disputed an appraisal once and lost.  It was a VA appraisal and a few days after the appraisal came in, a similar property sold for more than my client's contract price.  This year, I have disputed three appraisals and lost every one.  I understand that appraisers are being ultra conservative because the feds are still looking for scapegoats - especially in Arizona - for the market meltdown.  I have had demographic information as well as similar comps, compiled spreadsheets, and had photos.  I will continue to dispute if necessary, but really feel it's a lost cause.  Thank you for your article.

Dec 02, 2014 11:52 PM
Adam Hamalian
Hamalian Properties Group - Lafayette, CA
Walking with you on your journey home.

The appraisal industry has taken a big shift in the past 5-6 years with the change in regulations. I find some to be very excellent in what they do and others who are clearly trying to do too many in a day.  The best thing you can do is provide the best comps, not just the ones that support your sale.


Dec 02, 2014 11:57 PM