Potential homes might be viewed as if they were yours. If the staging is excellent, this can be especially true.

You may be more selective and not accept certain characteristics. Home appraisals are crucial in the sale process of any house, no matter what scenario you choose. It doesn’t matter whether you are a seller or a buyer. Understanding how home appraisals work can be crucial.

Let’s take a look at what a home appraise looks like, and what you can anticipate from this stage of your home-buying journey.

What is an appraisal?

A home appraisal is an objective assessment of the property’s worth. The home appraisal is done by an impartial third party, who will evaluate your home’s location, age, condition, and market data.

Home appraisals are used by lenders to assess the value and terms of your mortgage loan. Appraisals are often necessary to obtain a loan. This is because they give lenders a better understanding about your risk as a borrower.

Home Appraisal Vs. Home Inspection

It is easy for homeowners to mistake home inspections and home appraisals. Home inspections and home appraisals both require the presence of a third party who can visually inspect your house. A home appraisal is more detailed than a house inspector, but they will also give you a bigger picture of your home’s value.

Home inspectors can identify problems and weak points in a home. The home inspector can give the buyer a better idea of the cost of maintaining or fixing the property. The home inspection report contains detailed information about the property, including evaluations of its interior structure and utilities.

On the other end, home appraisals focus less on detail and are more focused to identify obvious visual defects like foundational problems or a caving roof. Brooklyn Real Estate Appraisers won’t get into too much detail to uncover every red flag. Their main goal is to assign a value to your property. You should also consider crime rates, school zones, location, and other factors.

These are some ways home appraisals could differ from home inspectors.

  • Lenders will need to have home appraisals performed, but not home inspections.
  • The lender will request home appraisals. However, you must arrange a home inspector yourself
  • Appraisals of your home could impact your loan.
  • It is strongly recommended that you accompany the home inspector during an inspection. You shouldn’t tag along for a home valuation.
  • Brooklyn home inspectors have different skills. Brooklyn home appraisers do not.

How does appraisals work?

Each Brooklyn Real Estate Appraiser will use their own method for home appraisals. However, many will be using the following:

  • The lot size and area – This refers the square footage, number of bedrooms, and bathroom count.
  • Safety and health considerations
  • Exterior appearance and curb appeal
  • Permanent additions to your property, such basements, decks or decks, and garages.
  • The home’s overall quality and condition
  • To be resold, the property must comply with the neighborhood.
  • What price have they been sold?

What is the average time it takes to appraise?

A home appraisal will take longer if the home is large. A complete appraisal of a small home may take only half an hour. However, a full appraisal on a larger property could take several hours.

Your location, availability of appraisers and the timing of your appraisal can all impact how long it takes to appraise your house.

It is possible that you are experiencing peak home buyer season, and your appraisal firm receives lots of requests from lenders.

COVID-19 can also have an impact on the overall speed and efficiency of the appraisal process. New processes that ensure safety may cause the overall appraisal process to take slightly longer.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac now allow desktop appraisals. This allows appraisers access to the exterior of the property, and remote video tours of its interior. Rocket Mortgage does not offer desktop appraisals.

Once your home has been assessed the appraiser will compile data on similar homes or properties that have recently sold in your locality.

An appraiser will create a report detailing the home and estimating its value based upon the information they have collected.

This process can take many days, depending on whether you need an appraisal or if they are already booked.

How to Prepare for a House Assessment: What All Parties Need To Know

What Sellers Must Know

Low appraisals could indicate that your house will be sold for less if it is not appraised well.

It’s a great method to prepare for the event and to feel confident that you are doing your best.

What Buyers Must Know

An appraisal is an important step in closing a deal if you have a mortgage.

An appraisal that is at least equals the purchase price of the contract can be used to sell the property. If the appraisal falls short of this amount, your lender might adjust the amount that they are willing lend you. Lenders will not lend more than the property is worth.

What are the most important things for refinancers to know?

Your lender will need to know the value of your property in order to refinance. Lenders will want to see that there is enough equity in your home to ensure you don’t owe more than what the property is worth. Refinancers must follow the same advice sellers do: Make your home standout to the appraiser by documenting any improvements that might increase its value.

Tips to Get a Better Home Value

Your interest is to have your home appraised at the highest value for sale or refinance.

Certain factors are beyond your control such as square footage or the sale price of comparables. You can improve the appearance of your house and make it easier for an appraiser to see.

Make a List Of Improvements

Before the appraiser comes, list all the improvements you’ve made to your home. Keep a detailed list of all the work done, along with the date and receipts.

While it is important to consider the neighborhood value when valuing a home’s worth, it is equally important to show an appraiser a list of improvements. A Brooklyn Real Estate appraiser may not value all improvements, especially if they’re not permanent or add aesthetic value. A new coat or two of paint is not as valuable as new heating or cooling systems.

Explain the Comparables

An appraiser can gather basic information, such as price and size, about the area’s properties that have been sold. They won’t have the right to visit every home to assess its condition. They will not be able see inside any home, except photos.

Do your research about recent sales in the area. Before calling an appraiser, do your research. It’s important to know why a comparable home sold for less that what you want for yours.

Are there any existing structural problems? These are details that you should provide to an appraiser in order to get a better understanding of the true market price of your home.

Focus On Curb Appeal

The appraiser will first inspect the exterior of your house when they arrive. The appraisal will not consider cosmetics but good curb appeal can make an impression and show the appraiser how the house is in general.

When it’s hot, ensure that your grass is well-mown. Make sure to get rid all weeds. For added color and texture, consider adding a few flowers to the garden or adding mulch.

Give the Appraiser Room

While you might feel compelled by an appraiser to tour your home, it is possible that they will find fault with the way you have presented it. However, if you try to suppress them, this could indicate that something is wrong.

An appraiser will need to see a brief description of your home, any improvements made, and some information about the surroundings. After this brief introduction, you can relax and let your appraiser do their job.

Home Appraisal FAQs

Who pays the appraisal?

Unless you negotiate for a higher price, the appraisal costs are usually paid by home buyers. You have two options: pay upfront or add the cost to your closing expenses.

A Good Faith Estimate (GFE) will be provided to buyers at closing. It includes the cost of the appraisal.

What is the expected life expectancy of an appraisal

Banks won’t accept appraisal reports older then 3 months, even though there is no deadline. Your appraisal should be up-to date as the real estate market is constantly changing.

What can I do if my appraisal is low

An appraisal of your house that is lower than what you had expected can be refuted by providing data. Sellers who had their homes appraised lower may still be eligible to sell the property. Be realistic. If you’re a seller, and your home has a lower listing price than you would like, you might be able to negotiate with a buyer to compensate or agree to a compromise.

The worst case scenario is always possible, so you can always walk away. You may need to search again for a buyer.

A buyer who has a low appraisal gives them more power. You can negotiate a lower cost by using a low appraisal. You should talk to your agent about your plans.

Is it possible to skip a house assessment?

You might be eligible to skip the home appraisal if your credit is strong and you work with a lender using an automated underwriting process (which most lenders use).

A home appraisal is not necessary. This will allow you to save money on your initial purchase. But, this could mean that you end up paying more for a house than you need. It is vital to assess your financial situation, timeframe, and make informed decisions that will meet your needs.

What is an appraisal waiver, exactly?

An appraisal waiver is a way for qualified buyers to avoid the need for an appraisal visit. It simplifies the entire process. These are the key factors to consider when you decide if an appraisal waiver is available.

  • Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac requirements must be met
  • Minimum 20% down payment
  • Strong credit rating
  • It must be for the purpose of buying or refinancing either a condo or a single-family home.

Fannie Mae loans might be subject to an inspection-based waive that will exempt them form a full appraisal review. If Fannie Mae is satisfied that the data came from a qualified source, and that the information was complete.

If your loan is backed Fannie mae, speak to your lender about waivers.


It doesn’t really matter if your goal is to buy, sell, or refinance a house. However, it’s a smart move to understand the details of the appraisal process. While the appraisal should not be feared, it is something that you must prepare for.