A property appraisal can be a stressful process, but if you’re going to sell or refinance your home, it’s probably unavoidable. Before a lender is going to advance any money, they’re going to want to make sure they have an objective, impartial account of your property’s value. Because the value the appraiser comes up with is so significant, it’s important to be aware of what hurts a home appraisal before the process begins so you can avoid common mistakes.
What is a Home Appraisal?
A home appraisal is, simply put, an assessment of your property’s value carried out by a licensed appraiser. Real estate appraisals are usually based on several factors including the values of similar properties in the neighborhood, the condition of the house, and the building’s amenities. An appraisal can be a good way for a seller to determine the value of their property, but it is also usually a requirement before a lender will agree to a loan.
Five Mistakes to Avoid During Real Estate Appraisals
To get the best possible result from your property appraisal, it is a good idea to be aware of some of the common mistakes that homeowners make. Here are five of the most common:
- Not Being Present During the Property Appraisal. It is always a good idea to be as helpful as possible to the appraiser. Being present allows you to answer any questions they might have as they proceed.
- Not Informing the Appraiser of any Improvements or Problems. If you’ve made any significant improvements to your house, you’ll want to tell the appraiser so they can take them into account. If there are any problem areas in your home, it’s good policy to inform the appraiser ahead of time so there won’t be any surprises.
- Not Updating Your House’s Infrastructure. Because a house’s infrastructure is a key component of real estate appraisals, it is important to make sure that your electrical and heating and cooling systems as well as your plumbing are functioning properly and are up to date.
- Leaving Your House Cluttered or Your Property Unkempt. If your house looks neglected or poorly taken care of it can have a negative effect on your appraisal. Be sure that your lawn is neatly mowed, your house clean, and all extra objects neatly stored away before the appraiser arrives.
- Not Reviewing the Appraisal Report for Errors. After the appraisal is completed, you’ll receive a copy and it’s highly recommended that you read it carefully. Appraisers are only human and you’ll want to be sure that they haven’t made any errors that could negatively affect the value of your home.
Being aware of what hurts a home appraisal is essential to getting the best result. By avoiding these five pitfalls, you can assure yourself of a fair and satisfactory appraisal and be well on your way to successfully selling or refinancing your house.