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Unlocking the Mystery of Home Appraisals: What You Should Know

When will you need to get an appraisal? If you are refinancing, the bank will require it. If you are selling, the new buyer will need to have one done if they are financing the home. So what exactly is that appraisers job, and what will they be looking for?

The appraiser will be looking at your home’s features, age and condition, then compare it to other similar homes in the area and what they sell for. Because your home’s value is based on the value of similar homes in the area, the local market will have a big impact on your appraisal. If the market is hot, many homes will sell at much higher prices, meaning your home could appraise for higher.

Pricing by the numbers
  • Size of land

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms

  • Square footage

  • Year built

  • Number of closets and storage space

  • Recent sale prices of homes in your area

Other factors
  • Location of home

  • Curb appeal

  • Major systems and home appliances

  • Condition of home and systems

If you have a unique or rural home, there’s not much you can do to change that. The reason having a unique or rural home can be a problem is that it can be difficult to assign a value to unique houses or rural properties because of a lack of comparables.

What can hurt your appraisal value?
  • Outdated systems, appliances and Interiors

  • Hazardous construction materials such as asbestos

  • Overgrown yard, peeling paint, and broken sidewalks all imply overall neglect

Options to maximize your home’s appraisal value can include bolstering the property’s curb appeal, documenting home upgrades, making minor repairs, deep cleaning the home and doing your own comparison analysis. It’s also important to accept what you can’t control.

Remember, the market value of your home is also influenced by factors outside your control, such as the local market conditions and the overall state of the economy. While you can take steps to increase the home appraisal value, it’s important to manage your expectations and understand that the home appraisal value is ultimately determined by professional appraisers.


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