Property appraisals are required any time you purchase or refinance a home. However, many people get appraisals before they list their home on the market so they can gain a better idea of what the home is worth. Here are three things to expect during a property appraisal.
A Full Walkthrough
During a property appraisal, an appraiser will come to your home to document the condition and square footage of your space. To find this information, they will likely bring along a laser measuring tape and walk through every square foot of your home, including garages, basements, and outdoor areas.
While it can be disconcerting to give a stranger full access to your home, these professionals will be licensed and bonded. You are more than welcome to accompany appraisers on the walkthrough, although it isn't required.
Lots of Pictures
During the appraisal, the professional will also take several pictures of your home. In general, appraisers have to photograph pictures of every room and bathroom so they can show the general condition of your home.
To prepare for this aspect of the appraisal, make sure to clean your home as carefully as possible. Focus on tidying up the space to the best of your ability, eliminating clutter or extra furniture items that could impede the view of your room.
Not A Lot of Information Right Away
While your appraiser likely won't give you any information about the value of your home right away, you should expect a very lengthy report detailing their reasons for valuing your home the way they did. The report will also contain photos of your property, as well as information about comparable properties that played into the estimated valuation of the home.
This information is incredibly valuable and owned by you, not whoever ordered the appraisal. However, you may want to share the report with your lender or refinancing company, especially if you want to sell the home at a profit or use a little equity out of your home.
If you are having an appraisal done, focus on remaining calm and doing what you can to clear out messes and prevent clutter. Remember that your appraisal will be mainly based on the location of your home and the overall condition of your house, not cosmetic issues with your space. Be patient, wait for the report to come back, and remember that information is always a good thing.