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What is an Appraiser Actually Looking at?

Having a home appraisal is a standard step in the home buying process. (If you haven’t already, you should check out our First Time Homebuyers Series video about Appraisals HERE) But, if you are selling your home, you should definitely be aware of this part of the process.

The appraiser is evaluating your home to determine if your listing price is accurate or not. It is their job to evaluate the maintenance and construction of your home and property. And, in order to assess the value of your home, it is necessary that they evaluate several aspects of your house and property. It is a rather intense process that has been implemented to make sure that both the buyer and seller are making a fair and accurate transaction.

So, before you have your home appraised, be sure you go over the list below and have your house ready for the appraiser and ready to sell!

Preparing for Your Home Appraisal

Your Home’s Exterior

The appraiser will most likely work from the outside in. This means their first item to investigate will be your home’s exterior. There are three basic exterior parts of your home that the appraiser will be concerned with:
1. Roof
2. Walls, and
3. Foundation

As a homeowner, you want to make sure that you roof is up to date and code. When determining the condition of your roof, ask yourself:How many layers of shingles does it have? When did you have any changes or updates made to it?

You also want to ensure that you have stable and steady foundation. If either of these items are not up to date, your home could be deemed uninhabitable and you will have to make these changes before you can actually sell it.

The Size of Your Property

While the appraiser is looking at the exterior of your home, he or she will also comb your land. They need to know how large of a lot size you have, as well as how large your house actually measures. The appraiser will take these measurements and add it to the value of your home. Typically, the larger your lot and home, the higher value your home is worth. Of course there are always certain conditions that may apply.

The Interior of Your Home

Once the appraiser is done outside, they will come in your house and assess the interior value. They will look at things like windows, doors, electrical, plumbing, bathroom and kitchen updates, etc. As a good rule of thumb, the higher quality and better maintained your home is, the higher it will be in value. Be sure that prior to sale and appraisal you take the time to make improvements that will increase the value of your time and not waste your time on senseless updates.

Home Additions and Updates

Any additions and updates that you have made on your home will also be accounted for in your home appraisal. For example, if you have updated your bathroom, it will most likely increase the overall value of your home. Other things like new appliances, a new furnace, a new air conditioning unit, or updated countertops will also play a major part in the overall value of your home. Appraisers like to see updates and remodels and will pay close attention to the details of your alterations.

Steps to Take Before Your Appraisal

If an appraiser is coming to your home, you should spend some time preparing for your visit. Use the list below to get yourself and your home ready for your appraisal.

    • Make a list of any updates you have made to your home
    • Make a list of the additions you have made to your home
    • Get rid of an unnecessary clutter
    • Wash your floors and counters
    • Clean your windows
    • Cut your grass
    • Sweep or shovel your front porch
    • Patch any holes in the wall
    • Fix any leaks

    After the appraisal is done, the appraiser will send your appraisal results to both you and your real estate agent. It is important that your appraisal does not come in at a lower price than you have your house listed for. If this should occur, you and your real estate agent will advice you on what to do next.


    If your house has recently been listed, be sure that you are prepared for your appraisal. Should you have any questions, we are always here to help you prepare your home. Please feel free to send us an email today with your questions!

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