Separating Fact from Fiction in Home Appraisals

Home AppraisalsAn appraisal is an important and necessary part of the home-selling process. However, many homeowners don’t really understand how it works and what rights they have. They just know it can impact the selling price of their home. It’s essential that you know certain facts about this process to ensure you get the best price for your property.

What Counts in an Appraisal

Homeowners often work hard to enhance their home’s appeal for buyers, hoping it will bring a higher price with new features and important updates. Then, they are disappointed because the appraisal didn’t reflect that hard work.

An appraiser looks at other homes in the area that are nearly the same size and with similar features to find comparable pricing. These are homes that have recently sold, so they know what buyers are willing to pay. They make adjustments based on the location of the property, the square footage and the condition of the home. Some upgrades will weigh in on the final value while others will not improve it or may even lower the value if they are too strange or different from other homes.

Who the Appraiser Works For

Many homeowners think the appraiser’s view is eschewed in favor of the buyer because they pay for the appraisal. However, the appraiser actually works for the lender to ensure the amount the buyer is paying is actually at or below the value of the house. The lender wants to be sure they are making a solid investment by lending the money to the buyer for the home.

An appraiser is unbiased so you don’t have to worry that the numbers will be altered in favor of the buyer. In fact, it’s illegal for the buyer or anyone else to attempt to coerce the appraiser into changing the numbers.

Some Amenities are Worth More

When you upgrade your home, look for what other homes have in them. This tells you what a typical buyer looking to purchase in this neighborhood is interested in. Those amenities are the ones that will add the most value to your home. Other features won’t give you the bang for the buck that you’re looking for.

Don’t worry about the appraisal if you’ve worked with an agent to help you price the house. If you have any questions, your real estate agent should be able to answer them for you or find someone with the answers. For additional information regarding home appraisals, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property


Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
800 421-7005 office
866 278-7765 efax
CA Brokers’s Lic# 01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy Chris Potter/