Home Appraisal Checklist: How To Prepare For This?

Before selling a house or any other type of property – you need to get it appraised. Unfortunately, you are new to this and don’t know a lot about a home appraisal checklist – how do you prepare for something like this?

An appraiser is a person who shows up one day at your doorstep and decides to put a value on your home before selling it. But he has to be careful, not to make it too cheap or too expensive. This may not sound complicated, but it takes a lot of nerve and knowledge.

In case one day you decide to sell your home, and you need a recap of the most important information, take a closer look at this article. We will deal with an average appraisal checklist, how long it takes, and how much it costs. 

What Does An Appraiser Do?

Before we get into the entire process of appraising the property, you should be familiar with some of the job basics. A real estate appraiser is mainly there to tell you if you are selling your house for the right price. But this is just the surface. Here are some of the duties an appraiser must conduct when he steps into your home:

  • Walk through every room to appraise the condition.
  • Appraise the exterior condition of the property.
  • Appraise the value of any additional property, such as pools or built-in bars.
  • Note any safety code for the appraisal report.
  • Inspect square footage
  • Appraise market value if you are selling commercial property. 

He will also report the value of similar properties near you to decide whether you made the right decision about your property’s price.

Your lender will most probably find the appraiser for you. The right person for the job will be someone who is licensed or has any certificate. (The Appraisal Foundation)

This process is likely to last for a couple of days, even weeks, if the appraiser is busy.

The good side of this job is that the appraiser makes the process of selling your house easier. He will save you the effort, money, and time.

Why Is Home Appraisal Important?

Home appraisals are very important when you are selling your house, and here are the main reasons for that:

  • Determining the realistic price of the house
  • Refinancing your home – replacing old mortgages with a new one
  • Getting a home equity loan – Be careful. If your home has decreased in value, you won’t be able to get this loan.
  • Applying for other loans – the bank wants to be sure that the money they lend you is equal to the house’s current value. 
  • Tax assessments – if the prices in your neighborhood decreased, you can ask for a tax assessment.
  • Getting the most out of your appraisal – improving the overall appearance can leave you with a larger sum of money in the pocket.

Home Appraisal Checklist 101

Rdl Home Appraisal Checklist

We have briefly mentioned an appraiser’s job, but now it’s time to get into some details and prepare you for the ultimate home appraisal checklist.

  1. Research your home’s value – If you have lived in this house for a long time, it would be best to research the approximate value in order to have a brief idea of what it may be worth. Here are a few tips on how to do this:
    • Consult the CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) – examining properties that are similar to yours.
    • Consider a pre-listing appraisal – some sellers can pay for their appraisals before the listing (in case of divorce).
  2. The property must be accessible – Make sure that you take care of every room in the house, even the basement. The appraiser must be able to walk through the room without any obstacles.
  3. A home fact sheet – This means that you should gather all the relevant paperwork that is related to your house. (most recent tax receipts, any homeowner’s association, information about nearby schools, papers that concern upgrades done to the property)
  4. Make minor repairs – Because the appraiser must determine your home’s overall value, we don’t recommend any major upgrades because they could take some time. We recommend getting small parts fixed – a broken window or door knob, leaks in the bathroom or kitchen. 
  5. Tidy the entire house – Before taking photos of your home, make sure to tidy it up good. It would be best if you cleaned it inside and out, to make it look like a new one. No one wants to see a lot of unnecessary stuff all around the house. 
  6. Secure any pets – If you are a dog or a cat owner, it would be best to take them somewhere else during the appraisal. They can be distracting to the appraiser.
  7. Plan to be away yourself – Sometimes, the agents work without you in the house. 
  8. Be patient – Some time can pass before you finally get the response you have been waiting for – 10 days approximately. And this is if you are lucky. So, be patient with your appraiser.
  9. Review the appraisal report in case of any issues – If you feel that the appraiser has done something wrong or determined that the value was less than you expected, there is absolutely no shame in wanting to review the appraisal report.
  10. Plan to negotiate – If there have been some minor issues during the appraisal, be prepared to negotiate with the appraiser himself. Please don’t make any rash decisions. Hear him out first. 
  11. Get to closing – Close the deal only after both sides have been satisfied with the results. 

How Much Does A Home Appraisal Cost?

The cost of the appraisal depends on the type and size of your property. 

A single-family home can cost between $300-$450. If this is a somewhat larger house, you may be looking at $500 or even $800.

A multi-family home goes from $500 to $1000.

Apartment buildings are a little more expensive, so that you could be looking at $1500 to $3000.

Before preparing any money, check the previous cases of home appraisals in your hometown and neighborhood.

Home Appraisal Checklist – Conclusion

Before selling a house or any other type of property – you need to get it appraised, and in order to do that – you need an appraiser. Before the entire appraisal process, you should be familiar with some of the job basics. 

The appraiser’s job includes walking through every room to appraise the condition, appraising the property’s exterior shape, appraising the value of any additional stuff such as pools, or built-in bars, inspecting square footage, etc. 

Now that you know the job, prepare for the process by researching your home’s value, making the property accessible, creating a home sheet, making some minor repairs to the house, tidying up the house, securing any pets, negotiating, etc.

This process is very important for you because you need to have a realistic price for the house. By appraising and seeing the price, you will be either able or not to get some loans from the bank. If the fees in your neighborhood have decreased, you might be able to ask for a tax assessment.

When it comes to the price of this kind of appraising, it depends on the type and size of the property that you are selling. While some single-family homes go from $350 to $500, building apartments are a bit more expensive and can cost up to $3000.