THE APPRAISAL: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT
THE DREADED APPRAISAL…
There’s nothing more feared in the transaction process as the appraisal. The sellers pray that the home isn’t worth less and the buyers pray that the home isn’t worth more. On either side of the transaction, the appraisal can often be a deal killer.
THERE’S NO WAY AROUND IT
If you are getting a loan to buy your house, an appraisal will definitely be part of the process. The appraiser will use recent properties that have sold in the area to help determine the value of the home you choose. The appraiser will also consider the condition of your home, age, size and so forth in determining the value.
IF THE HOUSE IS APPRAISED LOW…
It’s unlikely that your lender will lend you the difference. Your real estate agent may suggest that you make a lower offer with the attached appraisal in order to qualify for your loan. In some cases, the seller may still hold to their original asking price and ask you to pay the difference in cash. But most residential purchase agreements are based on the appraisal and are negotiated at that time if there is a need to do so. For many, this can be a nerve-wracking moment in the process.
THE HOME APPRAISAL PROCESS INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- A complete walk-through of the house to get an idea of the overall condition and room count
- Documentation of the entire condition of the property, both inside and out
- The Quality of construction and modernization of the home
- An evaluation of the value of the house
- Information on the house, including square footage, and the condition of the garage, carport, or other peripheral properties
- Estimates of the “contributory value,” which is any additions or repairs you have done to the home prior to listing
- Other attributes of the home which would add to the market value of it
The typical home appraiser has a state license or certification in home appraisal processes from an accredited school or real estate training. This means that they are highly qualified to make an assessment of the final market value of the house.
As a result, this figure is highly influential to the buyer in communicating how much the home is worth and in determining how much they are willing to pay.
AN APPRAISER IS NOT AN INSPECTOR
So the appraiser can’t do structural assessments, termite checks, under the floor evaluations, or any of the other things that the home inspection team can do. This is why it’s important to have both a pre-home inspection and a pre-home appraisal completed prior to listing your house for sale.