What homebuyers and sellers should know


There are many important steps to purchasing or sell a house. One aspect that home buyers and sellers often have questions about is the home appraisal process and its impact on home sales. Understanding this process is important for both buyers and sellers in order for your home purchase or sale to go as smoothly as possible.

What exactly is a home valuation?

During one House valuation In the process, a licensed, independent real estate appraiser collects information about the house and the surrounding property in order to estimate the current market value. Most frequently, reports are provided by the Mortgage lender who finances the mortgage for the buyer. The home buyer usually pays for the appraisal either upfront or at the time of completion.

What happens during an apartment appraisal process?

During the home appraisal, the appraiser carries out a thorough inspection of the house, which usually takes about 1 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the house and the property. They measure every room and lot the property is on while taking photos of every room and the exterior of the home. They then write their report and send it to the lender between 7 and 10 days depending on how busy the lender is Real estate market is near you. The appraiser first checks:

  • All signs of safety and health hazards
  • The physical condition of the house (paint, roof, fences, etc.)
  • The structural integrity of the home
  • Upgrades or improvements (new cabinets, countertops, flooring)
  • Visible defects (fogged up windows, holes in the wall or floor)
  • All conditions set by the lender

If reviewers have concerns about any of these issues, they can order a specific inspection to determine the scope of the problem. Below is a more detailed checklist of what an appraiser can check both inside and outside the home.

Checklist for house valuation outdoors

  • Total area or land area of ​​the property to ensure actual measurements match the property description
  • Condition of foundation and roof
  • Condition of the chimney
  • Curb objection
  • Landscaping quality (trimmed bushes, mowed lawn)
  • Condition and type of road surface
  • Type and condition of the garage
  • Condition of the pool and other outdoor facilities

Checklist for assessing interiors

  • Living area and number of bedrooms and bathrooms to ensure these numbers match the property description
  • The health of the HVAC system
  • All integrated appliance upgrades
  • Peeling paint if the house was built before 1979 to ensure compliance with lead paint laws
  • Type of basement or crawl space
  • Quality and condition of the plumbing and electrical systems
  • Material and condition of the windows, floors and walls
  • Detection of pests or termites
  • Energy efficient functions
  • Permanent upgrades (house extension, kitchen island, built-in shelves)
  • General maintenance of the house

House square footage usually doesn’t include garages and basements unless those rooms have a closet and exit window, which allows them to be counted as a bedroom or habitable space.

Credit-specific property valuations

Depending on the type of home loan you have been approved for, your loan may have additional or specific requirements that are on the home appraiser’s checklist.

FHA home assessment checklist

FHA assessments are slightly different and have special requirements. The biggest difference is that any repair issues identified during the inspection must be completed before closing. This requirement affects both the buyer and the seller as the home loan process absolutely cannot move forward until these repairs are completed. An FHA report checks:

  • Visible wall studs or floorboards
  • Peeling or chipped paint, especially lead paint, in homes built before 1979 must be scraped off and painted
  • Water damage due to leaks in the foundation, in the pipes or in the roof
  • Holes in the cladding or roof that need to be repaired
  • Sidewalk or driveway damage that needs to be fixed
  • All outlets within 3 m of a water source that need to be replaced by FI outlets
  • All outdoor sockets must be earthed plugs or GFCI sockets for bathrooms, kitchens and garages

Checklist for the VA home valuation

VA home valuation inspections have their own standards for acceptable home conditions, including:

  • A water heater, clean drinking water and a sewage system
  • Working current and HVAC
  • A solid foundation
  • Acoustic roof
  • A termite and pest inspection
  • Adequate living spaces, including the kitchen, living room and bedroom

Any safety or health concerns or required repairs may slow down and stop the closing process until the buyer or seller addresses them. Additionally, a VA certified appraiser hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs must complete the home valuation for a VA loan.

This is not a complete checklist of what an in-house appraiser will look for. However, it is a list of the most common problems that you may encounter. If sellers do repairs and upgrades before the appraisal, they are better equipped for a smooth sale.

Once the appraiser has all the information they need, they write their results on a form called Uniform housing value appraisal, and the completed report is then sent to the buyer’s lender for the next steps in determining the loan amount.

Tidy living room with white sofas and chairs with blue throw pillows and everything ready for the appraiser.

What information does the apartment valuation report contain?

  • object: This part of the form shows basic information such as the address of the property being valued, who the borrower is, who currently owns the home, what the property tax is on the home, who the lender is, and whether the home is within the last was up for sale for twelve months or not.
  • contract: This section of the report indicates whether the appraiser has analyzed the sales contract. It also includes the contract price and date the contract was signed, as well as information on any sales discounts that may be paid on behalf of the borrower.
  • area: This section shows a description of the neighborhood with housing market conditions and neighborhood boundaries. Neighborhood characteristics such as urban, suburban or rural are described, and the appraiser indicates whether the values ​​of other apartments in the area are increasing, stable or decreasing in value.
  • Page? ˅: The Site section describes the land on which the property is located. This section provides the dimensions, shape, and appearance of the site and whether it conforms to the current zoning. Also included is information about the home’s utilities, whether they are public or private, and whether this is typical of the area. Finally, the expert comments on all adverse site conditions, such as soil or soil conditions.
  • Improvements: In this part of the appraisal, the appraiser gives a general description of the property, including the condition of the foundation, exterior and interior of the house. The garage and driveway area, loft, appliances, fireplace, and porch and deck are also included under improvements. Here the appraiser states that Square meters of the house, describes any additional specifics, gives a general description of the condition of the property, whether any physical defects have been found and whether the property is in keeping with the neighborhood.
  • Compare sales approach: In the section of the sales comparison approach of the apartment appraisal process, the appraiser arrives at a value and proves the value of the house to be appraised. It does this by finding comps, also known as comparable properties. Comps are houses that come as close as possible to the house to be valued in terms of structure and equipment. When looking for land, the appraisers also take into account properties in the immediate vicinity and if they were sold within the last year. The appraiser gives a detailed description of each comp, including the address, retail price, square footage, and features, among others. They use this information to determine a market value for your property.
  • reconciliation: In the comparison section of the appraisal, the appraiser states what the estimated value of the property is and whether this value is “as is” or subject to necessary repairs.
  • Additional Comments: This section of the appraisal allows the appraiser to enter additional information to support the market value they arrive at. You can also write any important information that was not included elsewhere on the assessment form.
  • Cost approach: This is a type of home valuation method that appraisers often use when evaluating a newly built home. There are the property costs plus the construction costs minus any depreciation.
  • Income approach: The income approach to property valuation is primarily used in the valuation of apartment buildings, offices and condominiums, or any other property that generates income.
  • PUD information: This section deals with the determination of an estimate for a PUD home page or a house that is located in a planned residential unit. PUDs are neighborhoods with a master plan that are single-family houses or townhouses. In a PUD, the homeowner owns the house and the land below. While in a condominium, the owner only owns the interior walls and the space within these walls.



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