STEP 8. THE BUYER’S APPRAISAL

If the buyer is financing the purchase of your home, the lender will require an appraisal. So, before their loan is completely approved a licensed appraiser will come to your home to appraise the value. The appraiser will look at the following to determine value.

  • Structure

    The appraiser will look at the foundation, siding and roofing to determine the material, quality and condition of each. The appraiser will look for cracks, leaks, damage or defects around the exterior of your home.

     

  • Interior

    The appraiser will look at the material and quality of the walls and inside roof, the flooring and its condition, and the number, type and quality of windows and doors. The appraiser will look for permanent fixtures installed in the home, including appliances, plumbing and lighting fixtures, and note any defects or damages they find. To understand what the appraiser will look for inside your home, imagine what you would leave behind if you moved out. The appraiser will look at all you'd leave behind. They will inspect these things and consider the overall value of your home

     

  • Amenities

    The amenities installed in your home have a significant impact on the home’s value. The appraiser will note what features your house does--and does not--have. These include modern conveniences, such as central heating and air, smoke detectors and a detached garage. If your home lacks these features, the appraiser will likely value your home slightly less. He will look for additional features as well, such as a fireplace, a security and/or intercom system and solar panels. And he'll consider outdoor amenities, such as an in-ground pool or a gazebo.

     

  • Upgrades

    Any remodeling completed can influence the appraised value of your home, usually in a positive way. The appraiser will examine upgrades to the kitchen, including the stove, oven, sink and faucet, countertops and other built-in appliances. Bathrooms are next on the appraiser's checklist--bathtubs/showers, toilets, sinks, faucets and lighting fixtures. If you did remodeling work on your home or hired a contractor to complete it for you, list the upgrades and the old appliances and fixtures they replaced. Give the appraiser the list. Again, you should not include appliances or accessories that are not permanently installed, including your refrigerator, microwave and décor. The appraiser will ignore these items, and they do not contribute to the overall value of your home.

     

  • Front & Back Yards

    Your front and back yards are almost as important to the overall value of your home as the house itself. The foremost aspect the house appraiser will consider is the size--the larger your plot, the higher your appraisal will be. The appraiser will look for and consider landscaping, permanent fixtures (like an in-ground sprinkler system) and other features. Although mere appearance has little to do with your home’s overall value, your front yard in the first thing the appraiser will see. An unkempt, overgrown yard strewn with broken-down vehicles and garbage could influence her appraisal.