When you decide to sell your home, the appraisal process is big deal.  The appraisal is the evaluation of your home and property that is used to determine its value.  It is an unbiased opinion used by mortgage lenders to assign an objective worth to the home, ensuring that the amount that they lend to your buyer is appropriate.  Working with a knowledgeable, professional REALTOR® can help to not only sell your home, but to help through each stage of the process, including the appraisal.  Here are four important things to know about your home’s appraisal.

What does an appraiser do?

The appraiser assesses the property and provides an unbiased, objective judgement that is meant to validate the contract price of the home.  These findings are used by the lender.  The visit includes measuring the living space, taking pictures, performing a visual inspection of the interior, exterior, and surrounding area of the home. 

Can any improvements I’ve made impact the appraisal?

While making updates, improvements, and renovations to your home can enhance its appeal, it may not always result in a higher appraisal.  The cost of your updates will not result in an equivalent increase in appraised value.  While they may make your home more attractive to prospective buyers, they’ll have marginal impact on your appraiser’s valuation.

How does the appraised value compare to market value?

It is not uncommon for the market value of a home to be higher than the appraised value.  Working with a REALTOR® will help you price appropriately, but when financing is involved, if the appraised value is lower than the asking price, it can make a purchase at that price less likely.

What other factors influence the appraised value?

There are other factors involved than simply what the appraiser collects during their visit.  Comparable properties are a significant element that is used.  These are other homes in your area that are similar in size that have sold recently.  These sale prices will influence the appraised value of your home, in addition to the other data collected.