You might view potential homes as if they were yours. This can happen especially if the staging is perfect. Some people are more selective and won’t accept certain features. A home appraisal is an important part of any house sale. No matter if you are a seller, buyer or both. It can be vital to understand how home appraisals work.

Let’s look at how a home appraisal looks and what you can expect from this stage in your home-buying journey.

What is an appraisal?

An objective appraisal of the property’s value is called a home appraisal. An impartial third party will perform a home appraisal. They will assess the condition of your home, its age, and whereabouts.

Lenders use home appraisals to determine the value and terms for your mortgage loan. Appraisals are sometimes required to get a loan. Appraisals give lenders a better understanding of your risk as borrower.

Home Appraisal Vs. Home Inspection

Home inspections and home appraisals can be confusing for homeowners. Both home inspections and home assessments require the presence of an outside party to visually inspect your house. A home appraisal is different from a house inspection because it provides more information and gives a larger picture of the value of your home.

A home inspector can spot problems and weaknesses in a house. A home inspector will give the buyer an idea of the costs of fixing or maintaining the property. The home inspection report includes detailed information about the property including an evaluation of its interior structure.

The home appraisal is more focused on visual defects and not on details. Brooklyn Real Estate Appraisers will not go into too much detail in order to find every red flag. Their primary goal is to assign value to your property. Also, you should consider crime rates, school zones and location.

There are many other ways home inspections or home appraisals could differ.

  • Lenders will require home inspections, but not home appraisals.
  • Lenders will require home appraisals. You will need to arrange for a home inspector.
  • Your loan could be affected by appraisals of your home.
  • It is highly recommended that you accompany the home inspector on an inspection. It is not recommended to tag along with the home inspector during a home inspection.
  • Brooklyn home inspectors are different from Brooklyn appraisers.

What is the process of appraisal?

Every Brooklyn Real Estate Appraiser will use a different method to appraise homes. These are just a few of the many options.

  • The lot area and size – This refers to the area of the house as well as the number and types bedrooms.
  • Safety and health considerations
  • Exterior appearance and curb appeal
  • Permanent additions to your property such as basements, decks or terraces and garages.
  • The overall quality and condition of the home
  • The property must be in compliance with the local ordinances before it can be resold.
  • Which price were they sold at?

How long does it take to appraise?

If the home is large, a home appraisal may take longer. An appraisal of a small house may take less than an hour. A complete appraisal of a larger property may take several hours.

The time it takes to appraise your home can be affected by the availability of appraisers, whereabouts and when they are available.

Your homebuyer peak season might mean that your appraisal company receives a lot of inquiries from lenders.

COVID-19 may also impact the efficiency and speed of the appraisal process. The overall appraisal process may take slightly longer due to new processes that guarantee safety.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac now allow desktop appraisals. Appraisers can now access the exterior of the property and use MLS photos as well as remote video walksthroughs of its interior. Rocket Mortgage does not offer desktop appraisals.

After your home is assessed, the appraiser will compile data on similar properties or homes that have sold recently in your area.

Based on the information they have gathered, an appraiser will prepare a report that details the property and estimates its value.

It can impact the time it takes for an appraiser to arrive or if they are already backlogged.

How to prepare for a House Assessment: What All Parties Should Know

What Sellers Need to Know

If your property is poorly appraised, it could be less likely that it will sell for more.

It’s a great way to prepare and feel confident about your performance.

What Buyers Need to Know

If you have a mortgage, an appraisal is a crucial step to closing the deal.

A property can only be sold if the appraisal is equal to the purchase price. Your lender may adjust the amount they will lend you if the appraisal falls below this amount. Lenders won’t lend you more than the house is worth.

What are the most important information for refinancers?

Your lender might ask you to calculate the current value of your property during a refinance. Lenders will ask you to prove that your home has enough equity to cover the property’s current value. Refinancers should follow the same advice as sellers: Make your home stand out to the appraiser by cleaning up and documenting any improvements that could increase its value.

Tips to Improve Your Home’s Value

It is in your best interest to have your home appraised for the highest value possible to sell or refinance.

Some factors, such as square footage or selling prices for comparables, are out of your control. An appraiser can see your house better if you improve its appearance.

Make a list of improvements

List all home improvements that you have made before the appraiser arrives. Make a detailed list with all of the work completed, as well as the dates and receipts.

It is important to take into account the neighborhood value when valuing a property’s worth. However, it is equally important that an appraiser see a list detailing any improvements. Brooklyn Real Estate appraisers may not value all improvements, particularly if they are not permanent or add aesthetic value. A few coats of paint are not worth as much as new cooling or heating systems.

Explain the Comparables

An appraiser will gather information such as the price and size of properties in the area that have been sold. They will not be able to inspect every house to evaluate its condition. Except for photos, they won’t be allowed to enter any home.

Do your research on recent sales in the region. Do your research before calling an appraiser. It is important to find out why comparable homes sold for less than what you are looking for for your home.

Do you have any structural issues? These are the details you need to provide to an appraiser to help determine the true market value of your home.

Focus On Curb Appeal

When they arrive, the appraiser will inspect your exterior. Although the appraisal does not take into account cosmetics, good curb appeal is a strong indicator and can show the appraiser the general condition of the property.

Make sure your grass is well-mown when it’s hot. You should get rid of all weeds. Consider adding flowers or mulch to your garden for more color and texture.

The Appraiser Room is open

An appraiser might be compelled to visit your home and find fault with it. If you hide something, it could be a sign that you are trying to hide something.

An appraiser will need to view a description of your house, any improvements, and information about the surrounding area. You can now relax and allow your appraiser to do their job.

Home Appraisal FAQs

Who pays for the appraisal?

Home buyers almost always pay the appraisal costs unless you negotiate for a lower price. There are two options. You can either pay upfront or add it to your closing costs.

At closing, the buyer will receive a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that covers the appraisal cost.

What is the life expectancy for an appraisal?

Even if there is no deadline, banks won’t accept appraisal reports older than 3 months. Because the real estate market changes constantly, your appraisal should be current.

What should I do if my appraisal score is low?

You can refute an appraisal of your house that is lower then you expected by providing data. Sellers whose homes were appraised lower than they expected may still be eligible for the sale of their property. Be realistic. You might be able negotiate with a buyer if your home is being sold at a lower price.

Even though the worst scenario is possible, you have the option to walk away. It is possible to find a buyer again.

Buyers with a low appraisal have more power. A low appraisal can help you negotiate a lower price. Talk to your agent about your plans.

Can I skip a house inspection?

You might be eligible to skip the home appraisement if you have good credit and are a member of an automated underwriting lender (which many lenders use),

It is not necessary to have a home appraisal. This will help you save money on your first purchase. This could lead to you paying more for your house than you actually need. It is important to assess your financial situation and timeframe in order to make informed decisions that meet your needs.

What exactly is an appraisal waiver?

Qualified buyers have the option to skip the appraisal visit by signing an appraisal waiver. This simplifies the whole appraisal process. These are the main factors to consider before deciding if an appraisal waiver will be available.

  • Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac must meet all requirements
  • Minimum 20% down payment
  • Strong credit rating
  • You must use it to buy or refinance a condo or single-family home.

Fannie Mae loans may be subject to an inspection-based waiver that will exempt them from a full appraisal review. Fannie Mae will only approve that the data was obtained from a reliable source and that it has been verified to be complete.

If your loan has Fannie Mae backing, talk to your lender about waivers


It doesn’t matter if you are looking to purchase, sell, refinance, or buy a home. It is important to understand the details of the home appraisal process. The appraisal shouldn’t be something to be afraid of, but it is something you should prepare for.