Selling your home can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process. That’s why we created this guide to help you check at least one thing off your list: your home appraisal. Getting your house appraised is a crucial part of the sale process and can significantly impact your home’s listing price. So, what can you do to ensure a smooth and fair home appraisal?
What Is a Home Appraisal?
A home appraisal is a professional estimate of the current market value of your home. Your appraisal is determined by a home inspection performed by a licensed, third-party professional. Ideally, the appraiser will have knowledge of your area, property type, and market trends.
What Does an Appraiser Look For?
The appraiser will carefully inspect your home, paying close attention to:
- Recent sales prices of homes in your area
- Square footage
- Overall condition of the property
- Floor plan/layout
- When the house was built
What Can Negatively Impact a Home Appraisal?
The age and size of your home can negatively impact your home’s appraisal, as well as the condition of your plumbing, heating system, and appliances. Additionally, your appraisal may come back lower than expected if the demand for houses in your area is declining. The appraiser will consider all of this when creating their final report and market value estimate.
When Should I Do a Home Appraisal?
It’s essential to be strategic about the timing of your home appraisal. The best time for an appraisal is before listing your property, so you can make sure you’re not over or undervaluing your home.
If you skip the appraisal, you risk leaving money on the table. Plus, appraisals are relatively inexpensive–the average cost is about $350. Though it might seem like an inconvenience, getting an appraisal is key to ensuring you receive the best price for your home.
Additionally, if the new buyer is financing the home, the lender will likely require a home appraisal before approving and finalizing their mortgage loan. Lenders do this to manage their risk and ensure they are making a good investment.
For example, if it turns out that the market value of the home was lower than the sale price, the lender will have trouble recouping their investment if the new owner defaults on the mortgage. A home appraisal helps mitigate this risk for lenders– which is why they are almost always required as part of the closing process.
How Long Does a Home Appraisal Take?
The time the appraiser spends inspecting your home is relatively short. On average, you can expect the appraiser to be at your property for 30 minutes to a couple of hours. However, you don’t receive the market value estimate right away.
Typically, the entire home appraisal process takes a few days to a week to complete. This gives the appraiser sufficient time to inspect your home, review the data and complete their final report. Keep in mind; the timeline can vary based on your area, the complexity of your property, and the appraiser’s workload.
How Much Does a Home Appraisal Cost?
The cost to professionally appraise your home varies by appraiser, location, and property type, but the average price is about $350 for an appraisal on a single-family home. Appraisals for multi-families or apartment buildings tend to be more expensive.
How to Prep for Home Appraisal?
To ensure a quick and painless home appraisal process, here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for your appraisal:
- Tidy your home: It’s a good idea to clean up and remove any clutter before the appraiser arrives so that you can present your home in the best light.
- Gather important documents: Collecting documents such as receipts of recent repairs or improvements can help ensure the appraiser values your home fairly.
- Cosmetic repairs: Touching up your home with a fresh coat of paint, light landscaping, or other minor repairs can go a long way in adding value to your home.
- Research recent home sales in your area: It’s important to conduct your own research on comparable homes in your area and recent sales prices. By doing so, you will be in a better position to challenge the appraisal if it’s lower than expected.
How Much Above Appraisal Should I List My House?
Once you have your appraisal in hand, you may wonder how to use this information to price your home. For example, if you’re in a seller’s market, you might be able to sell your home for above the appraised value.
If the demand for homes in your neighborhood is high and supply is low, buyers might be willing to pay a premium for your property. Your listing agent will help you determine whether this is possible and help you price your house accordingly.
How to Find a Home Appraiser?
The quality and professionalism of appraisers can vary– which is why you want to do your due diligence when choosing your home appraiser. Try not to select the first one you find or the cheapest. It’s a good idea to ask for recommendations from your network or your real estate agent and confirm the appraiser’s license or certification.
Additionally, you want to make sure you choose someone with experience appraising your type of property. For example, you wouldn’t want to hire an appraiser specializing in appraising condos if you own a single-family home.
Selling a home is rarely a smooth process. However, If you follow the steps outlined above, your home appraisal process will be a piece of cake.
Do You Want to Sell Your Home For Cash Quickly?
Do you want to avoid home appraisals, inspections, and all of the other hassles that accompany the traditional home selling process? An alternative is to sell your home to a reputable cash home buyer like Pavel Buys Houses. We pay fair cash prices for homes in Massachusetts and some parts of New Hampshire.
If you’re unsure if working with a cash buyer is right for you, contact us to learn more –no pressure, we promise!