A few months ago, I got my home appraised. I was a little nervous about what the process would entail, but it turned out to be a pretty simple and almost painless (it cost $300, ouch!) process. If you need to get your home appraised for the first time, here are a few tips.
Finding an appraiser
The first thing I did was Google “home appraisers in (my area)”. I ended up clicking a HomeAdvisor.com landing page that listed appraisers in my area. I found the closest ones and gave them a call to get a quote. Since the prices were pretty close, I picked the one that sounded friendliest and scheduled my appointment. HomeAdvisor.com also has a handy tool that lets you know the average price range of appraisals in your area, so that helped me know what I should be paying before I scheduled the appraisal.
Preparing for the appraisal
Believe it or not, your house doesn’t have to look like it’s ready for Better Homes and Gardens to get a great appraisal. Clean it like you normally do and have things neat. The appraiser will be walking through your home to evaluate it, so try to eliminate clutter and trip hazards.
The home appraisal
When the home appraiser arrives, he or she will do a walk through of your house, going to every room taking notes and measuring. They will also inspect and measure the outside of your house and the land around it. It’s a good idea to walk with the appraiser in case they have questions. My appraiser gave me many tips on things I could do to improve the value of my home. The average home appraisal takes 30 – 45 minutes.
The appraisal report
After inspecting your home, the appraiser will do some research to determine the value of your home. This includes comparing your home to similar homes that have sold in your neighborhood. Give your appraiser about a week to give you the written appraisal document.Your home appraisal will be good for a few months, as the market is constantly changing based on the rate of home sales and prices.