Buying or selling a home is a major leap! It can be one of the most exciting experiences you will have in your life. Be aware, however that there is much red tape and due diligence that need to be dealt with in order to see a successful transaction. In most cases a buyer will purchase a home through a bank loan. The amount of the loan a lender will grant is based on the assessed value which is determined by the appraisal. For the seller, the appraisal will also likely affect what the home sells for.
First Things First. What is a home appraisal?
An appraisal is the estimation of a home’s market value by a licensed appraiser based on comparable recent sales of homes in the neighborhood. Whether you are buying or selling a home the price you have in mind may weigh differently based on what the appraiser assesses. Some homes that are only within a few blocks of each other can vary widely in value. A home in close proximity to schools or public transit, what floor a condo is on, and whether or not there is an appealing view are all factors that make a big difference in price when comparing similar homes in the area.
If the appraisal doesn’t justify the selling price of the home then the lender will not grant a buyer a mortgage to purchase the home for the requested lending price. Knowing what an appraiser looks for can be very helpful in preparing yourself for the appraisal process. Here are some key features you should know that an appraiser looks for in the appraisal process.
Before entering your home the appraiser will look at the overall exterior of your property; the foundation; the siding and roof to determine what material they are made of and what condition they are in. The appraiser will also look for any leaks, cracks or any defects that have occurred.
Size of the Property
The appraiser will consider the overall size of the property. A larger property is usually more desirable to buyers as it will allow them to expand in the future. Next an appraiser will consider that amount of rooms the property has. The more bedrooms and bathrooms there are the more people can reside at the property.
The appraiser will inspect the main construction of the home including the walls, flooring, windows and doors. Quality is taken into consideration as well as whether there is any damage or defects. The appliances, lighting fixtures and the plumbing are also inspected as they are key factors that influence the appraisers estimate.
Any additional amenities that improve the comfort or convenience of the home will likely positively affect the appraisal. For instance, centralized air conditioning, security system, smoke detectors, built out patio or balcony, swimming pool, gazebo, etc.
Features such as stainless steel appliances, updated floors and countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, and new sinks or tubs have a big impact on the value of the home. Because the appraiser may not be aware of all the upgrades you’ve made it is important to provide the appraiser a list of what upgrades you’ve made and when you made them prior to the appraisal being conducted.
Here are some simple ways you can boost your home’s appraisal:
Although there are some factors that you have no control over when it comes to what your home will appraise at, such as location of your home or the value of neighboring homes, there are immediate things you can do that will help aide in getting the highest appraisal possible.
1. Clean Up Your Home: Rid your home of any dirt, clutter, or shrubs that may restrict the appraiser’s access to certain parts of the property.
2. Complete Minor Repairs: Fix any leaky sinks, faucets, etc. Patch up chipped paint and tighten any loose rails, steps, etc.
3. Keep Pets Restrained: If you have pets keep them locked up as not to distract the appraisal process.
4. Be Honest and Friendly: Be helpful to the appraiser by answering any questions they may have about the property. As with any guest be hospitable and save any questions you may have until after the appraisal process is complete.
If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling
a Nashville Home please contact:
The Lipman Group | Sotheby’s International Realty
Office: (615) 463-3333 / Cell: (615) 509-1753