Appraisers have many tools in our tool belt to help homeowners, just like you. Rarely do we ever just supply an opinion of value (appraisal) and leave it at that. Sure, that’s what we do best, and what we are trained to do. But in addition to forming an opinion of the value of your home, an appraiser can give guidance on several other issues homeowners face when thinking about increasing the market value of their home, or when they consider selling. This blog focuses on four areas an appraiser can help you, the homeowner, in addition to providing an estimate of market value.
1. An appraiser can help determine how long it will take to sell your home.
How long will it take to sell your home if priced correctly? An appraiser can give guidance on marketing time, which starts at the effective date of the appraisal and looks forward in time. Marketing time is an opinion of how long a home would require market exposure in order to find a buyer. What price should you list your home at in order to move it quickly? Or perhaps you don’t mind sitting on the home a while. If you price it high, what is the estimated marketing time to find a buyer at that price? An appraiser can help with all of these questions.
2. An appraiser can provide you with an accurate measurement of your home.
Don’t leave the square footage calculation of your home up to Zillow or your local tax assessor. Zillow simply pulls from whatever public record is available, and most tax assessors don’t go inside homes, so they have to guess what’s in your basement or upper level. Have an appraiser measure to make sure you’re counting all the areas you can count, and that you’re not counting areas that don’t qualify as living area. Why is this important? You’re likely to price your home based largely on square footage. If an assessor or Zillow has overstated your living area, you could be faced with problems when it comes time for the appraisal. Perhaps that list price based on your exaggerated square footage isn’t supported by comparable sales, and now you may have to renegotiate the sale price.
3. An appraiser can help you decide which areas you can focus on that will immediately increase your home’s value and marketability.
Should you go ahead and replace that worn out carpet? What about painting the interior? Landscaping? Would remodeling that bathroom really add to my home’s value? These are common problems appraisers solve every day for our clients. Not every improvement adds value, some improvements actually return more value than cost, while others simply decrease marketing time. An appraiser can walk you through deciding which projects to tackle, and which projects to let slide.
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4. We can suggest repairs that would likely come up on future appraisals or inspections.
When a buyer obtains financing through the VA, FHA, or Rural Housing, the appraiser will also be inspecting the home for issues that affect the safety of those living in the home, the soundness of the home and its components, as well as the structure itself. Appraisers can help homeowners see those issues and suggest fixes before you have a buyer come to your home. Fixing certain issues before putting your home for sale can save you time and ultimately money.
Completing an appraisal on your home is what appraisers do best. But we have several more tools available to you, the homeowner! From offering advice on marketing time, providing you with accurate home measurements, helping decide the return on remodeling, or pointing out potential repair issues, appraisers have so much to offer, so don’t wait – call an appraiser today!