Getting a home appraisal: costs and considerations

If you need to sell your house, home appraisal costs are minor compared to the money you stand to make by pricing your home accurately.

Getting-a-home-appraisal-costs-and-considerations-1If you want to sell your home, pricing it right is key. While home appraisal costs are typically the home buyer’s responsibility, you may want to invest in an appraisal to improve your chances of selling. Most lenders require a home appraisal to determine your home’s worth before approving financing, so doing this step upfront may also expedite closing.

Home appraisal costs are minor compared to home prices, but they can make a big difference in your home sale. The home appraiser will evaluate your home, improvements you’ve made and any needed repairs. If you are unsure about how damages will devalue your home or how much a remodel increases your home value, a real estate appraiser can put a price on both. Home appraisers look critically at your home’s assets and problems. He or she compares your home to houses of similar age, size and features that have sold in the past six months. Typically, the comparable homes are in your neighborhood or in a neighborhood with amenities like yours.

Unfortunately, you cannot control all the factors of an appraisal – like your neighbor’s junky yard or the fact the local school closed. You will be able to make repairs that the appraiser says may prevent a prospective buyer from getting financing.

It’s important to make sure the home appraiser you choose is licensed in your state. A good appraiser will also have a real estate license. It is best to pick a real estate appraiser who has a few years of experience since becoming licensed. It’s also ideal if he or she typically appraises your type of property. You are more likely to get an accurate appraisal if the person you hire knows the value of homes in that area.

Getting-a-home-appraisal-costs-and-considerations-2Home appraisal costs are usually between $300-500. The cost may be higher if your home or property is expansive. Remember that you are investing in both a preventative measure and a selling tool. If the appraisal sets your home’s value lower than the sale price you were hoping for, you will probably have to lower your price or pay for improvements. Mortgage lenders typically won’t lend more than the appraisal value. That’s why a home appraisal is so important. Although home appraisal costs are minimal compared to the price of your home, the outcome of the appraisal may be invaluable when you want to sell.

If you want to research comparable home values in your neighborhood, use RealtyNow for free real estate listings.

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