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Title: Home Appraisals - What to Expect
Author: Robert Rogers
Whether you are selling your home or refinancing, you'll
probably getting a call from an appraiser. Their job is to
determine the fair market value of your home based on guidelines
set out by the Federal National Mortgage Association. This is
not the same as a competitive market analysis that many real
estate brokers perform, sometimes referred to as "comps". The
professional appraiser does an in depth analysis of you home's
condition, additional features as compared to other similar
homes, and location.
They start by looking at you neighborhood and find comparable
homes that may have sold recently, characteristics of
lifestyles, income level in the area, average age, and
surrounding home values. So if you home has 4 bedrooms, 3
bathrooms, and a 2 car garage on a half acre of land, they will
try to find a similar home in a nearby neighborhood. Sometimes
they will extend their search and compare homes within the same
school district when it is a known factor that affects the value
of a home.
Once they find comparable properties, they will make some
adjustments. Sometimes they will add value to your home based on
the landscaping, external features such as a fenced back yard,
or maybe there is view of the ocean. Numerous items may be added
or subtracted from your home's value. Living space, numbers of
rooms, sales in the last 120 days, usable land, and many other
factors are considered. Rest assured it is not an entirely
subjective process, but rather methodical and universal.
They don't consider your choice of wallpaper and curtains. They
don't care if there are 200 toys laying in the family room or
that you didn't make you bed. Of course it doesn't hurt to tidy
up a bit, but it's not really a factor in determining the
appraised value of your home. They are there to measure
boundaries, going to each level in your home and looking in all
the rooms, and taking more measurements. A few pictures are
taken only for the appraiser's folder which will go in a file.
Normally, if you are buying a home or refinancing, you can let
the lender know if you prefer a particular appraiser or company.
You can ask any real estate broker if they can recommend someone
to you as well. A qualified appraiser is licensed by the state
and will cost from $150 to $500 or more depending on the size of
If you are selling your home, the buyer normally pays for this.
However, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get an inexpensive online
appraisal. You can find one of the better instant online
appraisal companies at http://homeappraisel.com Online
About the author:
Robert Rogers is a writer in the Washington DC area.
http://homeappraisel.com Online Home Appraisals
http://homeappraisel.com for more articles on home appraisals.