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Home Appraisals: What to Expect and What Home Appraisers Look For

When you are preparing for a home appraiser to come to your house, it’s completely normal to have questions. What are the home appraisers going to check for? How is my house going to stack up against others of its kind? Is there anything I can do so the appraisal goes as well as it possibly can? Questions like these quickly enter the mind when getting ready for a home appraisal. So, set your mind at ease and learn what it is that home appraisers look for when appraising your house and what you can do to help the appraisal go well.

The following is a list of what home appraisers look for when they come to inspect your house: Home appraisers will check amenities. The features in your home are important. What type of air and heating do you have, if you have them? Do you have a washer and dryer? What about a furnace and adequately heated water? Home appraisers look for garages and note if they are attached or detached from the rest of the house. They also check for smoke alarms in the house, as well as burglar alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Make sure you point out unique amenities your house contains. A burglar alarm that is installed in the house could be a great thing to bring up (if it’s something that is staying with the house, which is sometimes the case if the alarm is built into/throughout the house).

Home appraisers inspect the exterior of your home. At the beginning of the inspection, home appraisers are likely to start with the outside of your house. They will check the roofing, the paneling and materials your house is made of, your windows and doors, and the general condition of your house. They search for corrosion, damage, and quality. They will also note the style of windows, doors, and of your house as a whole. Any little thing can make a difference. Home appraisers inspect the interior of your home. The home appraiser will look around each and every room in your house, inspecting every last inch. Home appraisers will look at every spot of your home’s interior. They’ll inspect what types of countertops you have, they’ll look at the bedrooms and bathrooms, lights, floors, doors, cabinets, cupboards, and anything else they feel may be important in the overall value of your home.

Home appraisers check for any renovations you have completed on your house. If you’ve lived at your house for a while, chances are you have installed at least something new in your home, and there is another big chance that you have renovated your home in some way. Be sure to bring this up to the home appraiser and talk up how great the new upgrades are and how it makes the house stand out above the rest. However, be sure to talk well about the area you live in and offer good things to say about your neighborhood. Stay away from negativity when talking with your home appraiser. 

Lastly, the home appraiser will check the yard and land around your house. The home appraiser will check both the front and back yards, as well as any other land that may come with the house (and any ponds or pools that come along with it as well).

It’s important to know what the home appraisers are looking for when coming to your home for an appraisal. However, it’s also important that you know what you can do to prepare. The following is a list of some ways you can set your mind at ease by doing before a home appraiser comes by your house:

Talk up your neighborhood. You likely won’t have long to talk with the home appraiser about your neighborhood and the area around your house, so try to work it into the conversation or mention it when the time seems right, either at the beginning or end of the appraisal. It could be a good thing to talk about while the appraiser is looking around the exterior of your home. Talk about the schools that are nearby, as well as any fun parks or play areas, or anything else that makes your home’s area and neighborhood a great place to be.

Sometime before the home appraiser comes over your house for the appraisal, write down all that adds value to your home, especially in regards to amenities. Don’t be shy about mentioning high-end equipment and machines you may be leaving behind or that have been installed permanently into your homes, such as a new stove or oven, or maybe a nice fridge. Mention these things as the home appraiser looks around at everything. The home appraiser is there to look and assess for price and value, so don’t feel nervous about bringing it up.

On top of jotting down what valuable amenities your home has to offer, be sure to also make notes of what you have added to your home in renovations. If you have upgraded anything, whether small or big, write down what it is and what the value of it is. If you’ve done things to add value to your home, or for your own tastes that have added to your home, don’t be afraid to point them out and talk about how they are one of a kind and sets your house apart from the others. Talk everything up and never undersell your house.

The home appraiser is likely not to spend longer than half an hour at your house, so use that time wisely. Talk about what sets your home apart and what makes it great. Talk about what you liked about living there and what makes the area surrounding you so wonderful to live within. Although you don’t have much time to talk with the home appraiser about every little thing, half an hour is still an ample amount of time to talk about the necessities of selling your house in an upbeat fashion. Don’t let yourself get nervous about it—just prepare and be ready to work your house’s individuality into the conversation whenever the opportunity arises.

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