Our team at Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC has been serving Annapolis and the surrounding area with high-quality home appraisals since 2008. In that time, we’ve developed a well-earned reputation for providing the most reliable and thorough real estate appraisals in the area.
Many clients, however, do not have a full understanding of what all goes into the appraisal process. With this in mind, here’s some information about appraisal services in Maryland and what you can expect.
The purpose of a home appraisal
A home appraisal is a type of unbiased report that determines how much a house is worth in the fair market. This report is prepared by a trained, licensed real estate appraiser.
Appraisals are required as a part of the home buying process. They are crucial in ensuring that the home buyer, home seller and mortgage lender all receive an accurate valuation of the property in question. For the home buyer and seller, appraisals are important because they ensure the asking price for the property is fair. For the mortgage lender, the appraised value is important because it gives the lender a good idea of the lending limits for the property.
What appraisers look at
There are several steps an appraiser will take to determine the value of the property, including visiting the property to conduct a thorough inspection and also viewing other recently completed sales of comparable homes.
The in-person inspection generally takes a little more than an hour, but can take more or less time depending on the size of the home. The appraiser measures the square footage of the property, notes the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and then compares the findings with housing data provided by county records to ensure everything is up to date and accurate.
The appraiser will check to make sure all major systems and structural elements are in good condition, looking at the plumbing, HVAC, roof and foundation, and determining if there’s any damage throughout the home or any major systems that are in need of replacement. Appraisers will also account for improvements and upgrades made to the home.
In looking at other similar homes that have recently sold, appraisers look for houses that have similar characteristics, such as age, architectural style and size. Comparable homes generally only include those that were sold within the prior three to six months.
The final step of the appraisal is assembling the appraisal report. This report provides both you and the lender with a thorough analysis of the property, outlining every element that went into the appraiser’s determination of the value and the methods used to calculate how much the property is worth.
Many banks will take care of ordering the appraisal as part of a real estate transaction, but if you’re selling a home, you may find it beneficial to have an appraisal done before you put the home on the market so you can get a sense of how you can improve your home’s value. For more information, contact Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC to discuss our appraisal services in Maryland.