11 Things Appraisers Evaluate to Determine a Home's Value

By Home Bay

Posted on July 25th, 2016

A home appraiser’s job is to assess the condition of your home and to provide an expert opinion on it’s estimated market value. Here are eleven things appraisers examine, evaluate and consider to determine how much your home is worth.


Your Appraiser Will:

  1. Make sure your home is habitable:
    They’ll confirm that your property exists and perform a basic inspection to assess whether or not the dwelling is in livable condition.

  2. Examine the outdoors:
    This includes taking measurements of your outdoor lot and inspecting your landscaping.

  3. Evaluate the condition of the home’s exterior:
    Your appraiser will look at the front and back of your home and will evaluate whether there are any visual signs of damage or other red flags that could decrease it’s value.

  4. Determine the visual desirability of your location:
    Your appraiser will make note of your home’s immediate surroundings. A view of a nice lake will raise the value much more than a view of a shopping center.

  5. Verify square footage:
    Your appraiser will take measurements of your livable space to confirm that the residential square footage numbers available in your property record are accurate.

  6. Evaluate the number of bedrooms in your home:
    Sometimes, listings will fudge on the number of bedrooms a house has. Though appraisers sometimes work by different rules to determine the number of bedrooms, the Interntional Residential Code states that a room must have:

    • An entrance point accessible from the interior of the house (usually a door).
    • Ceilings that are at least 7 feet tall in at least 50% of the room.
    • A method of escape beyond the entrance point (a window or door that leads outside).
    • Square footage greater than or equal to 70 square feet and measurements of no less than seven feet in any horizontal direction.
  7. Check out the size and condition of your attic, garage and basement:
    If you have a functional attic, basement or garage – your appraiser will factor those assets into your overall home value. In most cases, the square footage of these areas won’t count towards your total home’s square footage.

  8. Check for damages:
    Each room will be examined for damage and incomplete projects that could affect resale value. Minor damage like small holes or a carpet stain won’t matter as much to your appraiser as they will to an inspector. However, non-functioning fixtures, such as plumbing, lighting, electrical outlets and ceiling fans will catch their attention and lower your estimate.

  9. Verify that permanent fixtures work:
    Your appraiser will test the functionality and appearance of any permanent features, such as built-in appliances that you plan to leave behind.

  10. Check the heating and cooling systems:
    Your appraiser will take a look at your HVAC system to confirm that you have heating and air conditioning and that they are in working order.

  11. Research comparable homes:
    Your appraiser will compare your home to similar recently sold homes in your area and will use all the notes taken during your appraisal appointment to determine your home’s market value.

Remember, the appraised value of your home is not set in stone. Local real estate market conditions and any additional upgrades you do prior to listing will also have an impact on your final sale price

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Posted in Home Value