The Ultimate Checklist for The Best Home Appraisal

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The Ultimate Checklist for The Best Home Appraisal

Have you been looking to get an update on the estimate of your home’s current value? If so, you’ve come to the right place, given that in this guide we are going to get into the ultimate checklist to get the best home appraisal for your property. 

Home appraisals can also pay big dividends in the short and long haul, so you may want to consider getting a better understanding of what they are. In this guide, we will take a look at what home appraisals are, how they work, and how to prepare for an appraisal. 

However, before delving into the details, let’s take a look at what appraisals are, who performs them, and what they look for in order to estimate the value of your home, so you can gain a better understanding of this topic. 

What is a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is an exam that is performed on your property to determine its current value depending on its state and market conditions. Furthermore, it needs to be performed by a licensed appraiser who is trained on how to inspect and research the property to get the value. 

This is different from a home inspection in the sense that the main goal is to determine how much money the home is worth, not just the conditions of the home and what needs to be done to make it livable. 

Now that we have understood what a home appraisal is, who performs it, and the difference between an appraisal and an inspection, let’s take a deeper look at why appraising your home is the right way to go. 

The 3 Benefits of Appraising Your Home

Appraisals provide multiple benefits for those who are seeking to sell or gain a better understanding of their assets. So let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should consider having an appraisal done on your home: 

  1. It provides a clear scenario for insurance quotes to secure your property from natural disasters like tornadoes or fires. 
  2. It helps give the best estimate of what you might be able to sell the home for in the current market conditions. 
  3. It helps buyers get a better understanding of why you are pricing your home at that point. 

It is no wonder appraisals are a must for those looking to sell their home. So, if you’re looking for more ways to raise your home value for your appraisal, you can find more information by checking out our blogs

However, before undergoing any improvement projects to raise the value of your home, let’s take a look at what appraisers look at so you can make informed decisions when it comes to your home improvement projects. 

The 7 Factors that Appraisers Look at in Your Home

Appraisers look at a number of factors, but let’s get into the most important ones that can be game-changers on the ultimate value of your home so you can raise the value of your appraisal: 

1) The Condition of the Property

One of the most important factors that appraisers look at is the overall maintenance of the home over time. The condition is determined by multiple factors on the interior and exterior of the home, so let’s take a look at the main factors that determine the condition of a property:

The Factors for the Condition of the Interior The Factors for the Condition of the Exterior
Cleanliness, which includes clean walls, floors, carpets, and tiles. The curb appeal, which includes the overall asthetic of the home.
Signs of wear like holes, cracks, leaks, and other types of damage. The paint job and the finishings on the windows and doors.
The finishings, which include appliances, nobs, sinks, and toilets. The safety aspects like fencing, roofing, and the foundation. 

 

If you’re looking to increase the value of your home by improving its condition, take care of any signs of damage, hire a pro cleaning service, install turf to improve the curb appeal, apply a new coat of paint to the entire home, and update the finishings to reflect the current trends in the market.

2) The Quality of the Property

Other than the condition of your property, an appraiser will also look to see if your home has a level of quality higher than its appearance, which includes inspecting the wiring, all electrical systems, the plumbing and sanitation systems, the roof, the foundation, and the fixtures. 

In addition to the quality of the inner workings, appraisers will also look at the quality of the yard. So if you’re looking to add value to the exterior of your home, consider turf landscaping, which will increase the price of your home because of its low-maintenance and durable nature.

Keep in mind that the quality of construction is vital given that if a property is not constructed with high-quality materials or designed without its longevity and value in mind, the home will be harder to maintain in order to upkeep its value. 

3) The Age of the Property

The age of the home will also directly impact the value of your property. However, maintenance is a great way to counteract the inevitable wear and tear that will come over time, which is why quality repairs and upgrades are so essential. 

For example, a home with quality repairs that is older may be worth more than a newly constructed home that has had poor maintenance, given that it has better quality and condition. 

4) The Size of the Property

The size of the home is another important factor in an appraisal. To measure the size and value of a property, appraisers will look at the total size of the home lot, which includes storage areas, the interior, the garage, and the exterior. 

Furthermore, usable space is a very important element to consider, given that a bigger home positively affects valuation. To increase the value, consider turning your garage into a usable space, mowing your greenery, maximizing your outdoor space, and installing more storage. 

5) The Quantity of Amenities in the Property

Numbers are everything in an appraisal. So the higher the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, fireplaces, and other amenities, the higher the value of the home will be. So, to increase the value of your home, consider converting spaces like garages or sheds into extra bedrooms. 

Furthermore, consider installing fake fireplaces, DIY swimming ponds, extra storage space in outdoor areas, or even outdoor entertainment areas to get a higher quantity of amenities in your home. 

6) The Finishing Features of the Property

Appraisers often examine the finished features of a home, which include renovations, updates, countertops, tiles, hardwood floors, carpets, outdoor turfing, pools, or new appliances like stoves and ovens. 

Furthermore, as environmental awareness has increased and conservation has become more of a priority for homeowners, the demand for more energy-efficient homes has increased, and so has their value. 

So appraisers are also taking environmentally friendly finishings into account to determine the worth of your property. To increase the value of your home through environmentally friendly investments, consider installing: 

  1. Energy- and water-saving appliances like water filters or water irrigation systems.
  2. Natural energy sources like solar panels. 
  3. High-quality insulation systems to reduce electrical use indoors. 
  4. Recycling systems or even trash separation systems. 
  5. Artificial turf lawns, which are low-maintenance, save tons of water. 

If you feel taken aback by the last one, you can read about the water-saving benefits of turf and how it’s beneficial for both the environment and your wallet, and consider all of the options before undergoing any big renovations.

7) The Neighborhood of the Property

Home value is not only determined by the home itself; appraisers also look at its surrounding neighborhoods, which includes looking at what is known as “comps,” or comparable homes within the area that sold recently.

For a home to be considered a comparable property, it must meet a series of criteria that are set in place by the real estate industry. So they only take into account other properties that are within one mile and that have sold in the last 90 days. 

Once the comps have been determined, appraisers also consider the proximity to amenities like parks, schools, transportation routes, and shopping centers. They also consider the intangible assets of the area, like employment opportunities, traffic, and the quality of the schools. 

This is why homes that look nice on the surface but are in less valuable neighborhoods are valued lower. Vice versa, a lesser home in a nice neighborhood could get a higher estimate in their appraisal than expected. So keep that in mind the next time you go house hunting!

Now that we have understood what home appraisals are, who performs them, and what they take into account to determine the value of your property, let’s take a look at a few tips on how to prepare yourself and your home for the appraisal.

How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal

There are multiple ways to prepare for an upcoming appraisal, so here are a few suggestions to keep in mind to make your chances of a high estimate even greater: 

  1. Routinely maintain your home by promptly addressing repairs and upgrades to ensure it remains in top condition. 
  2. Make sure that the yard is well managed and that the greenery is pruned and mowed, as it can have a huge impact on the curb appeal of your property. 
  3. Consider inspecting the roof and the foundation for damage to prevent the appraiser from finding large problems that may impact the value of your home. 
  4. Inspect your home for signs of cracks in the driveway, walkway, and steps to address them with sealants. 
  5. Inspect the plumbing and sanitation systems for signs of leaks or water damage to prevent further damage. 
  6. Clean the siding and gutters of your home to further increase its appearance and condition. 
  7. Clean every nook and cranny, making sure that there’s no mold, stains, bad smells, or potential trash anywhere.
  8. Clean the floors, windows, walls, grout, mirrors, carpets, and dust every surface to improve the aspect of your home. 
  9. Remove clutter, organize closets, arrange furniture, put away knick-knacks, and get rid of excess stuff on the shelves or in drawers to allow your home to breathe. 
  10. Make sure to repair any holes, peeling paint, leaking faucets, clogged drains, jammed drawers or doors, exposed floorboards, or loose handles. 
  11. Make sure to check that all light switches, outlets, fans, vents, heating systems, air conditioning, appliances, faucets, and garage doors are functioning properly.

By following these simple tips, you will be sure to get the maximum value estimation for your property and ensure success in the sale of your property. Now let’s get a deeper look at how to prepare for the day of the appraisal.

How to Prepare for the Day of the Appraisal

On the day of the appraisal, you want to make it as stress-free for the appraiser as possible. So here are a few tips to make things easier for everyone on the day of the inspection: 

  1. Have all of the necessary documents for the appraisal ready, which include tax documents, proof of payment for HOA fees, and receipts for repairs and upgrades.
  2. Help them out with your own research on nearby schools, amenities, transportation routes, and future developments to make the process quicker. 
  3. Make sure all parts of the house are readily accessible, from the basement to the attic.
  4. Secure pets by removing them from the home or placing them somewhere where they will not interfere with the inspection. 

By following these steps, you will be sure to have an easy and quick home appraisal in order to get an estimate of your home in the current market and put your property up for sale. 

Increasing the Value of Your Home

If you recently had an appraisal but weren’t too happy with the results, there are a couple things you can do to help increase the value of a home. Be ready to dazzle a future appraiser! 

Talk with one of our representatives to learn more, or start browsing our home improvements that will make your property the envy of the neighborhood!

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