How an Appraiser Determines the Value of Your Home

When you’re considering buying a house – or even refinancing – it’s important to first determine the actual value of a property. And in the case of purchasing a home, you will want to make sure that the appraised value of a home is in line with the actual asking price. It is an appraiser’s job is to determine the current value of a property.

The majority of the work is done on-site where the appraiser will conduct a room-by-room walk through to determine the condition of the interior. As well they will walk the perimeter of the property to assess the condition of the outside. And any additional amenities like a pool or finished basement will also be evaluated. They are looking for the condition and quality of the construction, as well as the amenities and features that may increase a home’s value.  An appraiser will also look for any health or code violations (asbestos, lead paint, etc), and record the layout of the property.

Another important factor to note, is that an appraiser will compare these and other factors to those of similar homes in the area that have recently sold.  This refers to homes with similar pricing, age, size and construction. It’s this comparison that ultimately helps to determine a home’s value and marketability.

Typically the lender or buyer’s agent will choose the appraiser, and it should be someone that has appropriate state licensing and certification, and perhaps also be a member of a professional organization. The average time spent on appraisals is usually around 1-2 hours, and a final inspection report is usually ready in about 3-7 days.

An appraisal is a sound investment of both your time and money. It’s important to know what your house is worth, and to make sure you’re not paying more than that, all of which is vital in getting your loan approved.