Home appraisals are one of the many important steps in selling, buying or refinancing property. They provide important financial information to potential buyers before making the investment of a lifetime. In reality, appraisals are helpful to every party involved: the buyer, the seller, and the lender. For buyers in particular, you’ll need to know how much the estimated value of the property is so you aren’t overpaying. All things considered, your perfect future home might not seem so perfect if an appraiser tells you it’s worth far less than the listing price! It’s wise to learn a bit more about appraisals so you understand the must-have information presented during your home buying, selling or refinancing endeavors.

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is a process by which a licensed (and unbiased) professional inspects a property to determine a fair market value. A home appraisal is a requirement in most states because beyond determining the fair market value of a property, appraisals are often used to determine property taxes. In today’s current market, homes are often selling for more than they’re worth, but it’s still good to know the kind of value you’re getting on your newly bought or sold home.

An appraisal is more often than not required before a sale can be finalized, which makes it a pretty important part of the process! In competitive markets, some buyers will try to forgo the appraisal process in order to make their offer stand out, but it’s not often recommended. Talk to your real estate agent about this so they can best advise you on how to move forward.

What is a home appraisal based on?

What is included in a home appraisal? There are a few key factors that determine the fair market value of a home. When a traditional appraisal is in process, which depending on state laws can vary in length, a licensed professional will perform an in-person survey of the property. The actual appraisal report is mandated to contain a large itemized list that will determine the overall value of a home, but here is an abbreviated list of aspects that will be reviewed:

  • The structural integrity of the home
  • The square footage of the home and the size of the lot the home sits on
  • Upgrades made to the property
  • Any noticeable defects
  •  The overall condition of the home
  • A series of photographs and sketches
  • Any special requests made by the lender

If there’s visible water damage or the roof is in need of repair, they may schedule an additional inspection to address these issues. The appraiser will then compare the appraised home against the sale prices of similar homes as part of determining the overall value. They’ll also take other factors like crime rates, school district ranking and other local statistics into consideration when assessing the value. Sellers should know that they’re allowed to be present during the appraisal to point out any needed information.

What is the difference between a home appraisal and a home inspection?

Though they might seem similar, a home inspection differs from a home appraisal in that an inspection only covers the actual physical condition of a home. It does not take into account neighboring home valuations, crime rates, etc. To find a home’s true value, both are important.
How do I find a home appraiser?

Due to the fact that home appraisals are the primary concern of the lending agency because they want to ensure the loan amount is accurate, they will often take lead on finding an appraiser. Your trusted real estate agent will be able to help you understand these processes and procedures so you’re able to fully understand and make educated decisions.

How much does a home appraisal cost? Who pays for the home appraisal?

On average, an appraisal will cost somewhere between $300 – $500. Typically, this can be included in closing costs but can also be paid upfront. As home buyers see the total cost of buying a home rising with each additional step, make sure to communicate with your real estate agent before choosing to forgo any part of the process.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in Brevard County, you can trust The KIM TILLETT Team to be your reliable partners in getting the most out of such a large investment. Reach out today to begin a conversation at 321-446-9035.