Appraisal Tips and Tricks

Man working on gutters and roof

By Kyndal McAllister, Mortgage Loan Officer

When it comes to the mortgage process, there is one thing that is paramount to the transaction, and that is the value of the home. Home value is calculated by current sales in the area, square footage, lot size, upgrades, and location. One way to gather the data is to have an appraisal done on the property. An appraisal is a process of reviewing your property visually and putting it into factual information. As with all presentations, it benefits you to put your best foot forward.

It is recommended that you make any and all repairs necessary if you’re going to sell your home so buyers don’t try to negotiate the price down due to broken or unappealing features. A repair that may seem minor can have more effect than you think and may cause delays in the process.

One example is peeling paint. If there is peeling paint on the exterior of a property, it is likely that an appraiser is going to make a comment on the peeling and ask that it be repaired. Once repaired, a re-inspection of the work will have to be done to verify it is complete and up to standard. The re-inspection process typically has a fee, which not only makes the transaction more expensive but adds to the timeline because the appraiser must return to the property to check the work and then complete a new report that includes the repairs. Once the re-inspection is complete, then the underwriter must again review the appraisal for any comments the appraiser has made about the work.

In a busy purchase season, it may not be easy to get the appraiser to re-inspect the property in a timely manner. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the service needed is something that can be done immediately. Something you may consider minor could end up causing a major delay, depending on the situation.

To avoid the re-check appraisal process, add a fresh coat of paint to the interior and exterior of the home, replace moldings and caulking, fill holes in the wall, and replace anything that may be missing or cracked. Small repairs can make a big difference in the overall look of the home.

The above-mentioned list includes repairs we recommend completing. Remember to make a list of the upgrades as you go. The appraiser will ask you what projects have been done to improve the property since the date of purchase. It is important to understand that upgrades to a property are not a dollar-for-dollar increase in value. Some things have more weight than others. Upgrades to rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms add decent value as they are high-traffic areas in the house.

If you treat an appraisal like an interview and put your best foot forward, then you can expect the best results. If you have any questions about the appraisal process, our team of loan officers would be happy to assist. Contact us here.