Everything You Need to Know About Appraisals

How does an appraisal work?

Appraisals consist of two processes: the site visit and the report. During a site visit, the appraiser will photograph and measure the property, usually taking around 30 to 60 minutes. While it is commonly called an inspection, there is a difference between this and a home inspection, which is a more detailed look at plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems and can only be done by a licensed home inspector rather than an appraiser.

An appraiser will take the data from the home visit and begin the report, which may take several hours. A lot of research goes into this, as the appraiser will be looking through tax records, maps, previous listings, and more. General and specific market data will then be analyzed and they will create market reports. After all of these steps, the appraiser will estimate the value of your property.

The final summary report will include the data and research as well as a list of comparable sales and listings.

How can I prepare for a home appraisal?

It’s actually quite simple to prepare for an appraisal. All you really have to do is make sure your entire house and property is accessible as the appraiser will be taking some measurements and performing a visual inspection.

Staging your home is not necessary for an appraisal, but make sure all your repairs and updates are completed before the inspection.

What will have the biggest influence on the value of my home?

Excluding external features, such as location, the kitchen and bathrooms will have the most influence on the value of a home because they are the most expensive to remodel and update. If you can’t remodel these areas, the next best things it to put in new flooring and paint throughout the house.

What’s the payment process?

Usually a one-time fee, the appraisal is paid up front. Any additional payments will be if the appraiser must return to the property, which usually only happens during new constructions.

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