Finance | Common Appraisal Questions Answered
The appraisal process is a crucial part of any home purchase or home refinance. When an appraisal comes in low, the entire loan can be affected. At Guaranteed Rate, we want to help you have a hassle-free and quick loan experience. And that definitely includes the appraisal process.
By taking some time before the appraisal and preparing your house for inspection, you can help secure your home loan during the appraisal process.
What is an appraiser, what do they do, and what qualifications should they have?
A real estate appraiser is an educated, well-trained professional who estimates the value of a home using industry expertise, experience, market research and public records – all while following Federal and state laws and lender guidelines. There are various types of licenses and certifications an appraiser can attain which will determine the type of property that appraiser is qualified to inspect. Learn more about appraisers and their qualifications.
What is the appraiser looking at to determine the final value of my appraisal?
When inspecting your home, the appraiser looks at four elements: location, square footage, age, and room count. These four elements help the appraiser find similar homes that are comparable to help determine the appraisal value of your home.
What can I do before the appraiser arrives to prepare my house for inspection?
There are a couple things you can do before your inspection to help with the appraisal process:
First, be prepared. If you’ve researched recent sales and values in your town feel free to offer the information to your appraiser. Also, give the appraiser a list of any recent improvements to your home such as a new roof, new plumbing or new flooring. The list of your recent updates will ensure your appraisal report reflects the true condition of your home. Additionally, your research might uncover information the appraiser may not have known.
Second, clean up. Clean, clutter-free homes will help highlight the best attributes of your home. Also, new light fixtures and a fresh coat of paint to your walls can give your home a new fresh look, possibly helping the appraiser make a more updated comparison when determining your home’s value.
Remember –small, simple updates can help show your home in the best light and possibly allow you to sell for top dollar or give you the value needed to complete your refinance.
If you want to learn more about the appraisal process and how to read an appraisal report, download Guaranteed Rate’s free eBook “Appraisals Explained”.