The Ultimate Guide to Home Appraisals
A home appraisal is one of the most important steps in buying a home, refinancing your current mortgage, or pursuing a reverse mortgage. Many homeowners may not understand the home appraisal process or what they need to know before an appraiser arrives at their property. A home appraisal includes the entire property, not just the home or other structures.
- For most homes, appraisers will research public records for the sale price of nearby homes to determine a fair value. New homes are sometimes appraised on their reproduction costs, or how much it would cost to rebuild if the home were destroyed.
- Home appraisals are NOT home inspections. Inspections are typically scheduled by prospective homebuyers and focus on repairs or maintenance within a home. While the appraiser will note any problems he or she uncovers, home appraisals do not include a breakdown of each item that may need to be addressed.
There’s a lot to learn, but we asked the experts for important tips homeowners should know about home appraisals.
When the appraiser comes to the door for a refinance loan, make sure the home is neat and clean. This way, the appraiser sees that you take care of your home.
Fred GlickCEO, US Spaces Inc. / Arriva
The most important thing to understand is that there are several different types of appraisals. Depending on the purpose of the appraisal the strategy and the final value will be different than others. Understanding the goal of the appraisal is the most important thing a home owner should know.
Jolie Williams, REALTOR®Coldwell Banker Apex, REALTORS®Dallas, TX
Just remember, an appraisal does not really determine value. Value is a moment in time and it is a comparison experience and regardless of what an appraiser says, your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay, unless that appraiser is willing to write you a check.
Sammy Dweck, REALTOR®Evers and Co., Washington D.C.