A home appraisal - conducted by a professional home appraiser - is an unbiased opinion of a home's value. If you are buying, selling or refinancing a home, the home appraisal is an important piece of the financial transaction. In a home purchase or a home sale transaction, the appraisal determines if the contract price of the home is appropriate. In a refinance transaction, the appraisal ensures that the mortgage lender is not lending more money than the home is worth.
Homeowners can take many steps to ensure a home will pass the appraisal before the home is listed for sale. Please be aware of these guidelines:
- GFCI outlets are required in all bathrooms and kitchens. Exposed wires will be flagged.
- Cracks are not permitted in a home's foundation.
- Handrails are required on any staircase with three or more steps.
- A safe and operational central heating source is required.
- All interior walls must be completed and painted.
- Any building detached from the home (garage, shed, etc.) must pass all previous guidelines.
- Any moisture found inside the home will be flagged.
- The interior and exterior of the home must be painted. Any paint that is peeling is not permitted.
- Missing or damaged roof shingles will be flagged. The appraiser will determine how much life is left in the roof and will flag it if the remaining lifespan is fewer than five years.
- Any wood on the home's exterior that is exposed and untreated will be flagged.
- Cracked windows and doors will not be permitted. Any rotting wood or peeling paint on the window sills and door sills will be flagged.
Following these general guidelines will help you understand how an appraiser looks at your home. While these guidelines cover much of what is checked by a home appraiser, other items could certainly be flagged. It's important for you to be up front about the condition of your home so you can find and solve problems with your home prior to listing. Call me today to learn more.