Whether you are thinking about buying or selling a house, there are bound to be a lot of things on your mind. If you’re in the market to buy, you have to consider things like the benefits of a two-story versus a single-story house, whether a big yard is right for your family or what size bedrooms you want. On the other hand, a seller might set their focus more on the home’s appearance to appeal to buyers, while at the same time searching for a new home for themselves.
In all the excitement, some crucial elements can be overlooked. One aspect of home buying and selling that doesn’t get much thought, at first, is the home appraisal process.
So, what is a home appraisal, and what do you need to know about it? Here’s some important home appraisal information from an experienced estate appraiser in Maryland.
Home appraisals and why they’re important
Basically, a home appraisal is a professional’s educated guess as to a property’s value. The seller is the one who pays for the appraisal at closing, which can be a few hundred dollars.
Why is a home appraisal so important? Well, if you are planning on taking out a loan to pay for the house, then you need an appraisal for two reasons. Credible financial institutions specializing in home loans are not going to lend you money without a home appraisal. The lender needs to know what the loan collateral (the property) will sell for should they end up in possession of it.
Home appraisals are also how buyers and sellers know they are getting a good deal on the house. The professional appraisal should be as close as possible to the agreed-upon price, but even if a price was negotiated before the appraisal, there should be an agreement in place stating that a contract can be terminated or renegotiated if the appraisal comes in below the purchase price.
Length of the appraisal process, and factors that decide value
Since the appraiser’s job is to look at the value of homes, they take their time to do it thoroughly. They don’t look for problems or defects with the home, but if they do find an issue, they’ll either request an inspection or mention it so you can inform the home inspector. Ultimately, the appraisal process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week or so, often depending on current federal guidelines.
What factors do home appraisers take into consideration? When deciding the value of a house or property, the appraiser will look at certain characteristics, including the square footage, number of bathrooms, number of bedrooms and the overall condition of the home. They’ll also compare the home to other recently sold comparable homes in the same area.
Now that you are more familiar with the importance of home appraisals, you won’t be caught off guard by the term when the time comes for you to sell or buy a home. To speak with a reputable estate appraiser in Maryland, give us a call at Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC today!