Cheryl Phelan's Blog
A home appraisal is paramount for a house seller. If a seller enters the real estate market with an appraisal report in hand, he or she can use the report's property valuation to determine the optimal price for a residence. Then, this individual can set an aggressive price for his or her house from day one of the home selling journey.
Ultimately, not all home appraisers are equal. Some of the key factors to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of hiring a home appraiser include:
1. Industry Experience
Hire a home appraiser who knows the ins and outs of the real estate industry – you will be happy you did. If you have a real estate expert at your side, you can receive a data-driven appraisal of your house.
Oftentimes, it helps to perform lots of research before you hire a house appraiser. If you reach out to an appraiser directly, you can learn about his or her industry expertise. Plus, you can use this opportunity to receive immediate responses to any home appraisal questions.
2. Client Referrals
Although it may be tough to determine exactly how an appraiser will analyze a house, it generally is a good idea to explore how past clients feel about this professional. If you request client referrals, you can get in touch with an appraiser's past clients. You then can receive firsthand insights about what it is like to work with this appraiser.
Typically, a home appraiser can provide client referrals upon request. If you allocate time and resources to request client referrals and connect with an appraiser's past clients, you could increase your chances of hiring a top-notch appraiser to assess your residence.
3. Your Home Selling Timeline
There is no guarantee that a home appraiser will be available on short notice. If you are operating on a tight home selling timeline, you may want to reach out to multiple home appraisers in your city or town. That way, you can find a first-rate home appraiser who can review your residence right away.
As you get set to add your house to the real estate market, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top home appraisers in your area. Also, he or she is happy to lend a helping hand at each stage of the property selling journey.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide after you list your house, either. At this point, a real estate agent will promote your residence to potential buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you make an informed decision about whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Hire a home appraiser, and you can receive a property valuation that you can use to price your residence competitively from day one of the house selling journey.
In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract.
Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement.
The Home Inspection Contingency
This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home.
Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If you’re not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back.
Without this contingency, you’ll never know what’s wrong with the home until you move in it. It’s a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection.
This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you can’t get a loan, you’ll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.
This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, you’re far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems.
The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, you’ll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!
As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.
Shopping for a house is a high-stakes game. If you’re a first-time buyer, it can be difficult to gauge the value of various components and features of a home. Appraisals are designed for just this reason.
However, an appraisal is a subjective tool to determine a rough estimate. Furthermore, there are a number of things you can’t learn from an appraisal--such as how convenient the home would be for your work commute.
In this article, we’re going to help you, the homebuyer, determine the true value of a home as it would mean to you in your everyday life. Read on for tips on finding out the value of that home you’ve been dreaming of and deciding whether it’s really the best home for your budget.
Appraisals are a baseline
When lenders are in the process of approving your home loan, they’ll want to decide whether the home you’re buying is worth the amount you’re paying. To achieve this, they’ll typically hire a third-party appraiser.
Find out from your lender which appraiser they use and read their online reviews. This will ensure that they’re a trustworthy source of information. Also be sure to check that the appraiser is certified and that they work with a diverse range of clientele (not just your lender!).
Since you’ll likely be paying the appraisal fee as part of your closing costs, make sure you’re happy with the appraisal and appraiser.
Key appraisal factors
After the appraisal, consider getting a second opinion or inspection of any of the key components of your home that may impact the appraisal. Some of these factors include:
The roof, HVAC system, and septic systems
The energy-efficiency of the home
The current market value in the area
The general upkeep of the home--a few cosmetic problems shouldn’t affect the home value much, but serious neglect can cause long-lasting and expensive issues like mold, water damage, pest invasion, and more
What an appraisal can’t tell you
Now that we’ve discussed the nuts and bolts of home value, we have to venture into what value means to you and your family. You’ll need to ask yourself a series of questions, and some of them won’t have a cut-and-dry answer.
First, how well does this home fit into the work life of you and your spouse? Will it mean a shorter commute, and therefore lower transportation costs and more free time? Putting a dollar value on an extra thirty minutes not spent in traffic can be difficult, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to take part in.
Furthermore, does the house have features that will make it a better asset in years to come? Energy-efficiency, proximity to in-demand schools, businesses, etc., can all be selling points for future buyers that are willing to pay more for your home.
Using a combination of a certified appraisal and some introspection, you should be able to come to a confident conclusion as to the value of the home as it means to you and your family.