How to Prepare for a Home Appraisal

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of selling a home. Your agent will of course assist you in determining a good asking price, but more and more, lenders are requiring the services of a an Appraisal Management Company to ensure that the property is objectively worth the principle they are loaning.

An appraisal can make or break a deal, so you and your agent will want to be prepared.

First of all, you will not get to choose the appraiser. The bank that is backing your potential buyers will. However, most banks choose Appraisal Management Companies that will charge them the least. This cutting of the costs means that the appraiser sent to your home might not necessarily be top notch. Either you or your agent will want to assess the quality and experience level of the appraiser before the appraisal is performed, because it’s a lot easier to get another appraiser than it is to overturn a bad appraisal.

Good questions to ask:

  • Ask where they are located and how familiar they are with your area.
  • Ask how long they have been appraising homes.
  • Ask whether they work from home or a centralized office. Exposure to the appraisals of other appraisers will keep them better in line with market values.

Next, carefully prepare the paperwork for the appraiser.

  • Get an accurate floor plan and plat. Getting the square footage wrong can have a deleterious effect on the valuation.
  • Provide any paperwork for upgrades, along with the project costs to support a higher valuation.
  • Provide at least 5-6 comparable valuations, both higher and lower. But with the lower ones, find out why they were devalued, and illustrate that your property doesn’t have these flaws.
  • If there is anything noteworthy about the construction, provide that information as well. If the home was custom-built, that will reflect better than cookie-cutter construction from the last housing boom.
  • If you’ve had other offers, provide details on them, as well as any other data on prices in your area. You want to make this job as simple as possible for the appraiser.

Your agent will probably take point on the interactions with the appraiser, simply because he or she will be more familiar with the appraisal jargon and more capable of addressing any questions or concerns the appraiser has.

If you’re planning to buy or sell a home, call the experienced professionals at Linton Hall Realty. They have the expertise to guide you through the process easily and painlessly.

About Ashley Leigh

Ashley Leigh is one of the most successful real estate agents in the United States and founder of Linton Hall, Realtors®, the premier real estate company in Prince William County, Virginia. In his book Billion Dollar Agents, Steve Kantor featured Ashley for individually producing well over $2 Billion in career sales selling thousands of homes. Ashley Leigh's innovative marketing programs have been have been written about in Fortune magazine. Additionally, Ashley has been profiled in RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine and Power Team Report and has been recognized by REALTOR Magazine as one of the Top Sales Agents in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal ranked Ashley as one of America’s Top 20 Realtors in the Nation for his sales production for several years. Connect with Ashley on Google+

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