Five Reasons Why You Should Have Your Home Measured by an Appraiser

 

Few things can cause the sale of a home to fall through faster than a home that has been incorrectly measured, or not measured at all.  However, there is an easy solution, and if you’re a seller or Realtor, you can even be proactive so that you greatly reduce the risk of problems with the sale.  How does having an appraiser measure your home make a difference? Read on for five reasons.

  1.  Appraisers measure homes for a living.  Each time a home is appraised, one of the first things I do is measure the home.  That includes measuring the exterior walls, porches, patios, garages, etc. And then, if necessary, I measure interior walls, upper levels, basements, and any other area that needs measured.  Unless we’re completing a drive-by appraisal , we don’t have the option of not measuring a home.  We don’t take public records and just assume them to be correct. 
  2. We know the rules of measuring.  In a previous blog, I’ve written about ANSI guidelines.  This is a set of guidelines that standardizes how a home is to be measured.  It’s the most widely-accepted measuring method used by appraisers nation-wide.  There’s so much in the ANSI standards, they’re easily misunderstood. ANSI has guidelines that dictate how we include (or exclude) stairwells, basements, and unfinished areas, as well as ceiling height requirements – just to name a few.
  3. Public records may not be your best option.  Public records information is usually based on tax assessment records, which is not always correct.  Why? In most markets, the tax assessor, or property valuation administrator, doesn’t go inside the home.  Have a two-story home? A home with a basement? Your square footage then, may very well be inaccurately listed.  Assessors usually base their square footage for basements and upper levels on estimates. Guesses. Does that sound like what you want to base your list price on?
  4. Proper measurement means more accurate pricing.  What’s one of the first things a seller or Realtor considers when pricing a home for sale?  If you guessed square footage, you’d be correct. Let’s use an example that has happened countless times before.  A Realtor lists a home based on the assessor’s square footage of 1,500 square feet, and prices that home at $125/square foot.  If the home actually has 1,700 square feet, the home will likely have been listed too low.  Conversely, if the home has only 1,350 square feet, then it could be listed too high, which might result in an appraisal that comes back lower than sale price.  Or what about this scenario: last year, I appraised a rather large home, and when the buyer received the appraisal back, he was quite upset that the square footage didn’t match what the listing agent advertised.  So upset, in fact, that he backed out of the deal! Whether you’re a Realtor or a homeowner, you definitely don’t want that to happen to you!
  5. This last reason is a local one, but one that I want to make.  For all of 2020, we are offering our home measurement services as a way to give back to our communities.  That means that each quarter, we will choose one non-profit organization and will donate 100% of our fees to that organization.  So not only are you getting your home professionally measured, you’ll be able to list your home confident that you are advertising accurate square footage, and you get to help a deserving organization in the process!

 

Helping homeowners navigate the appraisal process,

Ryan Bays, SRA, AI-RRS