Appraisal Officers and Property Assessments

Today we return to that fun-filled world of home appraisals! If you’re familiar with this website, then you will remember our last article on the subject where we went over just what a home appraisal was and its importance when it comes to preparing a home for sale (if you haven’t read that piece yet, it might be a good idea to at least browse it over before continuing).

Since the subject is now familiar to you, we want to explore a few additional topics that relate to home appraisal. The first is the general outline of what an appraisal officer will do when they reach your home, and the second is just a little bit on ways you can improve your home’s assessed value before the actual assessment takes place (we will go into further detail on this last subject in the third and final part of this series).

To begin with, let’s briefly discuss what exactly happens when an appraiser comes to your home.

Whether you have initiated the appraisal yourself or if it is happening at the behest of a prospective buyer, the process is the same. A licensed appraiser will arrive and begin to subject your home and the property on which it sits to a throughout examination. With their expert eye, the appraiser will look for anything that might affect the value of the home. Things taken into account during this examination include:

  • The size of the lot on which your home sits
  • The condition of the lot
  • Updates or additions made to the home
  • Updates that need to be made to the home
  • The condition of various aspects of the home, such as the roof, porch (if applicable), floors, ceilings, etc.
  • Sale prices of comparable homes that have recently sold in the area

After looking into each of these areas, the appraiser will then write up a full report that details their assessed value of your home. As we stated in the earlier article, it is this report that a prospective buyer will use to try and get a mortgage from a lending officer.

Now let’s get to the good stuff.

How can one maximize the potential of their home before an appraisal?

Like we said before, we will go into greater detail on this topic in the last article of this series, but we wanted to start you thinking in this direction now. If you are trying to sell your home, you want your home to have a high appraised value. This will both ensure that you get the true value for your home, but it also ensures that any prospective buyer will be able to get a mortgage that can actually cover the cost of the purchase.

Some of the easiest things to take care of that will immediately bump up the assessed value of your home relate to minor fixes and repairs. This might include re-caulking fixtures in your bathroom, replacing a window in your garage, fixing a garbage disposal system, and other easy items. Before you do anything else, take a walk through your house, try to adopt the eyes of an appraiser. When you come across some minor issue that you think you can fix, don’t hesitate! You might be surprised at how much a little TLC will improve the salability of your home.