Common Questions about Home Appraisals

Posted by Cortiers Real Estate on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 at 8:47am.

What is the purpose of getting an appraisal?
Home appraisals are not just for the buyer, but also function to show the lender whether the amount they’re loaning out is adequate for the asking price of the home. Appraisals also help to show sellers if their asking price is too high and gauge how much they should lower the price of their home.

Is it the same as a home inspection?
Home appraisers are professionals licensed by the state and hired by the bank to estimate the value of your home. Though the process of appraisals and inspections are similar, lenders require that you get an appraisal on your home.
The main difference between the two? Appraisers are not required to identify potential defects. They simply assign a value to the home given the current state of the home. Your real estate agent will more than likely recommend that you get a home inspection done to have multiple opinions on the value of your home and can provide you with a list of certified inspectors.

Can I choose the appraiser who appraises my home?
Buyers and sellers cannot request a specific appraiser due to a conflict of interest. 
The bank you’ve acquired your loan from will assign your home an agent to do the appraisal. Generally, appraisers are brokers contracted by the lender to assess the value of the home. These agents are neutral to your purchase and have no affiliation with you or the seller.

Will the cleanliness of my home affect my appraisal?
There is a common myth that dusty furniture and dirty dishes will affect the outcome of your appraisal. This could not be further from the truth. Though the common buyer might gag at the sight of dirty laundry and an untidy showing, appraisers and realtors understand that the cleanliness of the home does not play a role in the overall value of the home.

What happens at the appraisal?
Here is what appraisers generally assess:

  • Comparable properties in your area that have sold recently
  • Overall condition given the age of the home
  • Location, view and other relative assets
  • Size and features (bed/bath ratio, updates, etc)
  • Major structural improvements such as additions and remodeled rooms
  • Features and amenities such as swimming pools and wood flooring

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

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