A professional home appraisal is required when selling a home—and it's also important for refinancing. The unbiased opinion of your home's value gives potential buyers and lenders a clear picture of a home's worth.
While some influencing factors are outside of your control—such as proximity to good schools and the value of nearby homes—a few simple steps may help increase the value of your home.
Before your home appraisal
- Review previous appraisals. Look for issues that lowered your home's value in the past and address those problems.
- Collect important documents for the appraiser. These could include a land survey that verifies property size, proof of your home's most recent sale price and a list of recent improvements complete with receipts.
- Tidy up. Clear clutter and contain pets to make the inspection easier for the appraiser.
- Invest in curb appeal. Clear debris from your yard, trim the hedges, and clean the gutters to make your home more attractive.
- Make minor repairs. Small fixes, such as touching up chipped paint or replacing a broken doorknob, can help add to a home's value.
What to expect during your home appraisal
The process includes three major steps:
- Real estate inspection: The appraiser closely examines the interior and exterior of your home, taking photos and noting its overall condition.
- Comparables: After the initial visit, the appraiser researches recently sold homes in your neighborhood. This helps the appraiser calculate the home's worth based on current housing market values.
- Final report: The appraiser prepares a complete property and market analysis, which typically includes:
- Your home's size and condition
- A record of any serious structural issues
- Notes about recent home renovations and the surrounding area
- Photographs, sketches and maps of your property
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.