Home about to be appraised

What is a Home Appraisal?

Homebuyers need home appraisals to make sure they’re not overpaying for a home. Home sellers use appraisals to properly price their homes. If you’re planning on refinancing your mortgage, get a home appraisal first, as the loan approval is dependent on the reported value.

In short, a home appraisal is an accurate, objective measure of a house’s value. The actual process is very in-depth; a licensed or certified appraiser will evaluate many aspects before determining the value of a house. As you have probably guessed, the actual features of the house play a large role. How many bedrooms and bathrooms does the home have? What is the square footage? Is the floor plan impractical? These are basic questions every home appraiser must answer. Furthermore, she or he will inspect the physical condition both inside and outside of the home. A home appraisal doesn’t end with a house inspection; the appraiser will also compare the selling prices and values of surrounding homes.

After the appraisal, you will be given a thorough report of the appraiser’s findings. This will include the data used to determine the home’s value (such as public tax and land records), pictures of the home and neighboring houses, and a sketch of the building. Considering the detail of the appraisal, you won’t be able to get one for free; a home appraisal will cost hundreds of dollars. This expense is well worth it. After all, you want to ensure that your home is getting an accurate price.

Last Updated: December 12, 2016

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