What Do Appraisers Look For When Determining A Property’s Value?
The idea that a property is determined after the appraiser has completed their physical property inspection is a common misconception by homeowners.
However, the appraiser already has an idea of the property’s value by the time they have scheduled an appointment to stop by the property.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry so much about pushing back an appointment a few days just to “clean things up” in order to help influence the value of your property.
While a clean house will certainly make it easier for the appraiser to notice improvements, the only time you should be concerned about “clutter” is if it is damaging to the dwelling.
Location, view, topography, lot size, utilities, zoning, external factors, highest and best use, landscaping features…
Quality of construction, finish work, fixed appliances and any defining features
Age, deterioration, renovations, upgrades, added features
Health & Safety:
Structural integrity, code compliance
Above grade and below grade improvements
Is the property conforming to the neighborhood?
Is the property functional as built – style and use?
Garages, Carports, Shops, etc..
Curb appeal, lot size, & conforming to the neighborhood are obvious to the appraiser when they drive down into the neighborhood pull up in front of your home.
When entering your home, they are going to look at the overall design, condition, finish work, upgrades, any defining features, functional utility, square footage, number of rooms and health and safety items.
Be sure to have all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in working condition.
The appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser who is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling, or refinancing, since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate.
If you’re interested in what specifically appraisers are looking for, here is a copy of the blank 1040 URAR form that is used by every appraiser in the country.