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What Do Appraisers Look For

Real Estate Appraisers

What Do Appraisers Look For When Determining A Property’s Value?

Most people are surprised to learn what appraisers actually look at when determining the value of a real estate property.

A common misconception homeowners generally have is that the value of their home is determined after the appraiser has completed their physical property inspection.

However, the appraiser actually already has a good 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.

The Key Components Addressed In An Appraisal

  • The Site

    Location, view, topography, lot size, utilities, zoning, external factors, highest and best use, landscaping features…

  • Design

    Quality of construction, finish work, fixed appliances and any defining features

  • Condition

    Age, deterioration, renovations, upgrades, added features

  • Health & Safety

    Structural integrity, code compliance

  • Size

    Above grade and below grade improvements

  • Neighborhood

    Is the property conforming to the neighborhood?

  • Functional Utility

    Is the property functional as built – style and use?

  • Parking

    Garages, Carports, Shops, etc...

  • Other

    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.

Since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate, the appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser whom is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling or refinancing.

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.

Related Update on HVCC

Appraisers hired for a mortgage transaction on a conforming loan are chosen from a pool of qualified appraisers at random. Neither you nor your lender has the flexibility of deciding which appraiser will inspect your home.

This recent change was brought on with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct HVCC, and is effective with conventional loans originated on or after May 1, 2009.




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