In most cases, you'll have an appraisal done when a home is being approved for a mortgage loan. But what is involved in a home appraisal? Simply put, it's an unbiased, professional opinion of a home's value. When a house is being bought and sold, the appraisal determines whether the sale price is appropriate given a home's condition, features, and location.
Here's what you can expect if you're about to begin the home appraisal process in West Texas:
Leading up to the appraisal
Here are the steps leading up to a home appraisal:
- The buyer makes an offer to purchase a house.
- The seller accepts the offer and, along with the buyer, signs a purchase agreement that is sent to the buyer's mortgage lender.
- The lender will order an appraisal. An appraisal is almost always required when a home loan is used.
During the appraisal
Your home appraiser will need access to every area of the home, including areas such as your attic and garage. He or she will note how well the home is constructed as well has how it has been maintained.
You can expect that your appraiser will take photos of the exterior and interior of your home. The lender will look at these photos to see what kind of condition the home is in. A cluttered, dirty house may raise questions about whether the home has been well-maintained, or whether basic maintenance issues have been ignored. Give your house a thorough cleaning before the home appraisal to eliminate these worries.
Square footage estimates
The appraiser will measure the exterior of your home to get a square footage estimate. Non-living areas - such as garages and porches - are not included in this estimate, but are noted on the report.
A general overview of the home is included in the appraiser's report and includes the home's layout, any updates, and amenities. He or she will also verify the number and types of rooms, floor plan, the age of the home, and its general overall condition. While an appraiser won't do the same kind of inspection that a home inspector would, obvious defects will be noted.
Away from the home
Besides taking a good look at your home, your appraiser will work behind the scenes to research what comparable homes have sold for and the current sales prices of homes in your area. They may also inspect the exterior features of similar properties as a means of comparison.
The appraisal report
The appraiser will assign value to the house and include it in the report that goes to the bank or mortgage company that requested the appraisal. The buyer's loan might not go through if the house is appraised at less than the purchase price - although the buyer and seller may choose to negotiate a lower price. The cost of the appraisal is usually paid by the buyer and can cost around $450. However, that cost can be rolled into the buyer's closing costs.
The Peoples Bank Home Loan Center team of Renessa, Lacie and Cody offers a complete mortgage loan service as well as free pre-qualification for prospective home buyers. Get started with our knowledgeable team today!