Prepare for Your Home Appraisal.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kolsky Realty & Management 01311273
https://activerain.com/droplet/4TpG

 

Prepare for Your Home Appraisal.

 

 

 

Getting your home to appraise for the selling price can be nerve-racking for many homeowners – but with the right preparation and knowing “what” appraisers look at during a real estate appraisal; you don’t have to be a nervous wreck.

 

Unless you have an all-cash buyer, a visit from your local home appraiser is inevitable. And while the home appraiser operates “independently” – you don’t have to be a wreck about their opinion as long you understand “what” the appraiser looks at when determining your home appraisal.

 

So here’s the deal. The home appraiser considers a lot of different things (which I will go over) but most of all they will look at the market and condition of your property. And to do a good job – the appraiser will also need to know and understand quite a bit about the construction and maintenance, too!

 

The Market, Location & Age

 

Comparable homes that have sold are considered the “market” and the market is one of the biggest considerations for the appraiser. And even though the appraiser has some leeway – you can bet the appraiser will be in line with the comparable homes that have recently sold in your market. But besides the comparable home that has recently sold, the appraiser will also look at and consider a few other things, too!

 

Lot Size & Property Size

 

When your home gets appraised – the appraiser knows folks tend to prefer larger homes and larger lots and take both into consideration when appraising your home. Your appraiser will consider the size of your lot and the size of your home. The square footage of the home makes up a large portion and consideration calculating value of the home. Both the size of your lot and home are big factors and important considerations for the appraiser. The more bedrooms and bathrooms will tend to add more value, especially if they are large and accommodating. The appraiser also knows (as for the lot size) that home buyers like the prospect to expand and are more likely to desire a property that will allow this.

 

The Exterior

 

Keep in mind – the appraiser gives a copy of the report to the lender providing the buyer with a mortgage. The main point of the appraisal is to make sure the lender (mortgage holder) is lending money on a property that has the necessary equity.

 

The foundation, walls, and roof are the three major aspects of the functionality and reliability of your home, and the appraiser will take a good look at all three and pay serious attention to them. The appraiser looks for any and all damage to these components as well as defects in the general construction of the home. And a home that has a problem with a foundation or roof can or might make a home inhabitable, and that’s why the appraiser will pay close attention to these.

 

The Interior

 

Even though the foundation, roof, and siding should be in good condition "when appraising your home," the interior of your home is vital, too and just as important to the appraiser.

 

The condition of your kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, walls, plumbing, electrical, and windows and doors are vital parts of your home. The appraiser will look closely at these and will need to determine whether the conditions are good or poor. The appraiser will also look at and consider the appliances and light fixtures, as well.

 

Improvements & Additions

 

The appraiser looks at the cost of the original construction, but also the appraiser will take note of any and all improvements you have made “as well as” the quality of those improvements, too. A new kitchen, new flooring, new appliances, and renovated bathrooms will determine the overall value, as well.

 

Not only do buyers like quality home improvements, so do lenders. Quality home improvements contribute to the lasting value of the property, and will definitely be an influence in how an appraiser establishes the value of a home!

 

Additions to your home establish value to an appraiser and the extra things that make your home special add value to your appraisal. A swimming pool, a tennis court and or a sports court will contribute value to your home.

 

A Clean Home

 

Do yourself a favor and help the appraiser with those judgments with a presentable home. You want your home to be clean and sparkle for the appraiser. Don’t forget the appraiser is human and will most likely judge your home based on appearance, as well. While there are some appraisers that strictly go by the numbers, there are others that don’t – so have your home looking great because it can make a difference.

 

Challenging a Low Real Estate Appraisal

 

There are cases where a home comes in at a value lower than it should be. If you receive a low appraisal, get a copy of the appraisal report and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Sometimes it just might be a case of the appraiser making a clerical error in their report causing a low value. I’ve seen where appraisers get the square footage wrong and cause the low home value.

 

If you find no errors in the report, you should also look at the comparable properties that the appraiser used. Are they truly comparable? Sometimes the real estate appraiser isn’t from the area and will use comps they shouldn't.

 

However, if you can’t get the appraiser to make the necessary corrections there’s a last resort, but there will be an added cost. You can ask the buyer to get another appraisal; I’m sure they will agree as long as let them know you’ll pay for it.

 

 

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Karen Feltman 07/20/2016 02:46 AM
  2. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 07/20/2016 09:13 PM
  3. Patricia Kennedy 07/27/2016 08:00 PM
  4. Dale Taylor 08/12/2016 05:51 AM
  5. Winston Heverly 10/26/2016 12:11 AM
  6. Joyce Marsh 06/08/2018 03:00 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
California Los Angeles County Long Beach
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Tags:
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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Gita Bantwal ~ thank you so much - please do!

Frank Rubi ~ I agree - we need to everything we can to help the appraiser get to the needed value and make everyone breathe a little easier

Jul 20, 2016 02:50 AM #23
Rainmaker
527,231
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Great post Jon!  There are too many times that the seller forgets to keep the house looking nice for the appraisal.  I re-blogged this one for my sellers...thank you for the great post!

Jul 20, 2016 02:51 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Shirley Coomer ~ even though it's just an opinion - that opinion can play havoc when it comes in under value. We work very hard to get the deal done and the last thing we need is having a clueless appraiser make a mess of things

Harry F. D'Elia ~ it can make a big difference - I always suggest having the home looking its best for the appraiser, as well

Jul 20, 2016 02:54 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Richie Alan Naggar ~ BINGO.... And there's nothing wrong with influencing the appraiser in making your case

Sham Reddy ~ you're welcome & thank you! I'm glad you like it 

Jul 20, 2016 02:57 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Sam Shueh ~ super smart and recommended! I must say I remember a time "even when" providing the appraiser with everything you mentioned "they" still had problems getting to the needed number! I'm glad "we" don't have that problem today

Mike Bjork ~ heck yes! It can save a lot of headaches

Jul 20, 2016 03:01 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC ~ I haven't noticed here (in a long time,) but I know that it happens

Karen Feltman ~ thanks for the re-blast! And I agree with you 110%

Jul 20, 2016 03:24 AM #28
Rainmaker
3,210,595
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Jon --- nicely presented.   I tell sellers to think of a visit by the appraiser as if he/she were a buyer --- we need to make sure we sell this home.  First impressions matter.

Jul 20, 2016 05:42 AM #29
Ambassador
4,297,809
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jon Kolsky - I prefer appraisals come over offer price. I had to challenge it only once in my career - and re-valuation was $5K more than offer price.

Good idea to 'prepare the home' for appraisal.

Jul 20, 2016 03:16 PM #30
Rainmaker
3,048,838
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Jon Kolsky "Comparable homes that have sold are considered the “market” and the market is one of the biggest considerations for the appraiser. And even though the appraiser has some leeway – you can bet the appraiser will be in line with the comparable homes that have recently sold in your market." That's what we see here too.

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Jul 20, 2016 09:13 PM #31
Rainmaker
83,498
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

If it doesn't appraise, the buyer will want to renegotiate down. Most sellers agree.

Jul 21, 2016 02:07 AM #32
Rainmaker
963,764
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post!  An appraiser should also be familiar with the area, so asking the appraiser before he arrives if he's worked in the area before is very important.  In areas that are large, such as ours, over 400 square miles, this is a critical point.  They also have to be "competent" to perform the assignment.  If the home has special features that have to be familiar with them, ie green features. If not, another appraiser must be sought out before the appraiser sets foot in the door.  Challenging an appraisal is much more difficult and appraisers are less likely to be helpful if they are challenged.  So it's best to be armed up front as you say with comparable homes, list of upgrades, disclosure forms, copy of the contract, and all pertinent details so that a realtor can state the best possible case!  

Jul 22, 2016 02:34 AM #33
Rainmaker
718,881
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

One definitely needs to prepare for the appraiser. As a listing agent, I provide the appraiser not only with comps, but also with a list of all the updates and "extra's" that may not be evident. 

Jul 22, 2016 02:55 AM #34
Rainmaker
656,073
Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

No need to be nervous if you know what you are doing when listing. ;)

Thanks for the info for everyone here.

That's why it is good to stay in your market area as well.

BTW we have our Summer MeetUp coming up on Monday

check out my recent blog.

Lauren Selinsky

Jul 22, 2016 03:18 PM #35
Ambassador
3,671,709
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

John, it's important that the seller cleans the place out and leaves,  and it's more important that the listing agent is there  - with comps used to set the price and copies of any backup offers.

Jul 25, 2016 02:14 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers ~ thanks for the re-blast and sharing my post - I'm glad you liked it

Ernest Villafranca ~ not the best situation for the seller, (if possible) they are much better off getting the home to appraise

Jul 27, 2016 06:13 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Michael Jacobs ~ MJ, first impressions are priceless, even for appraisers

Praful Thakkar ~ I agree with you and that's awesome

Jul 27, 2016 06:15 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Jan Green ~ in the appraisal process - we do have an important role to play, and you're right! We need to arm the appraiser with tons of pertinent data so there are no mistakes

Lauren Selinsky CRS ePro ~ I agree, and thank you PS: I hope your meet up was fun, I'm bummed I miss it! 

Jul 27, 2016 06:19 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Patricia Kennedy ~ I always suggest the listing agent be present "as well as" provide pertinent data... Anything less is a huge mistake

Jul 27, 2016 06:21 AM #40
Rainmaker
3,750,391
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Jon Kolsky,

I'm glad Patricia Kennedy re-bloged your post. We covered this subject yesterday at a panel I was on at the Austin Board of Realtors. Not all appraisers are equal but the truth is being proactive and providing the right material with the right attitude up front is so much easier than protesting later!

Jul 27, 2016 10:44 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,282,146
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Dorie Dillard ~ this is a great topic as well as important, too! And I agree "all appraisers are not equal." That is why "we" must help them do their job right and provide the right data they need to get the job done right

Jul 28, 2016 05:21 AM #42
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Jon Kolsky

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