The purpose of an appraisal is to determine the estimated value of a home.. It is one of the last steps in the home buying process that occurs after a seller has accepted an offer and work has begun with a lender. A home appraisal is also an important part of the refinance process. This step usually occurs between the loan processing and final approval. 

To accurately provide a fair market value of the home, an independent real estate appraiser is hired. Their job is to use data to estimate the value based on the property’s many characteristics, including the location, the quality and condition of the construction, the amenities, and any special features the property possesses. The appraiser compares these and other factors to those of similar homes that have recently been sold in the neighborhood. 

The majority of real estate appraisers use the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report which is a set of standards that determine the scope of the inspection. When it comes to the exterior of the property, an appraiser looks at the quality of the construction, the integrity of the roof and foundation, and issues with water management or siding, and the overall observable condition.

Inside the home, the appraiser is concerned with square footage and the overall layout of the house. They will look at how many bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of key rooms compared to the size of other rooms in the house, heating, electrical and plumbing systems, appliances, and the condition of the interior surfaces of the home. If there was a major remodel, they will check code compliance and structural integrity of the house. 

While you might not get any extra points for stylish decor, there are some ways you can prepare your home for an appraisal to increase the value:

  • If you have had an appraisal in the past, look for issues that may have lowered the value and address those problems. 
  • Have relevant documents on hand for the appraiser to review. These can include land surveying and receipts for any recent improvements that have been done.
  • Make minor repairs such as touching up chipped paint or replacing broken door knobs. 
  • Consider some major updates. New flooring, renovated bathrooms and kitchens, new appliances or HVAC system all can contribute to a higher overall value. 
  • Prepare for the appraisal by making sure your house is clean and uncluttered. This goes for the landscaping too.

A home appraisal can raise or lower the estimated cost of your home. By working to prepare for your home appraisal, you can increase your chances of an increased home value.



If you have an immediate need for a commercial or residential real estate appraisal, fill out the brief form below or order an appraisal online. We are the most trusted appraisal company in New England and New Jersey, performing more than 9,000 appraisals every year!