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What Real Estate Appraisers Look for During Home Inspections

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

When it comes to buying or refinancing a home, real estate appraisers play a pivotal role in determining the property's market value. A crucial part of their job is conducting home inspections. If you're curious about what real estate appraisers look for during these inspections, read on to gain insights into their process.

  1. Structural Integrity: Appraisers inspect the property's foundation, walls, and roof for signs of wear and tear, damage, or structural issues. Any concerns in these areas can significantly impact the property's value.

  2. General Condition: They assess the overall condition of the property, looking for any visible defects or needed repairs. This includes examining the condition of windows, doors, and the exterior siding.

  3. Interior Features: Appraisers take note of the interior features and conditions, such as the condition of flooring, walls, and ceilings. They'll also assess the functionality of key systems like heating, cooling, and plumbing.

  4. Square Footage: Measuring the property's square footage is essential. This measurement forms the basis for comparing the property to other similar homes in the area.

  5. Comparables: Appraisers gather information about recent sales of similar properties in the neighborhood. These "comps" help them establish a baseline for the property's value.

  6. Upgrades and Renovations: They consider any recent upgrades or renovations that may have added value to the property, such as a kitchen remodel, bathroom updates, flooring replacement or energy-efficient improvements.

  7. Curb Appeal: The property's exterior appearance matters. Appraisers evaluate the curb appeal, including landscaping, driveway condition, and the overall aesthetic of the property.

  8. Location and Neighborhood: They take into account the property's location within the neighborhood and any unique features that might affect its value. Proximity to schools, parks, and public transportation can be important factors.

  9. Zoning and Legal Compliance: Appraisers ensure that the property complies with local zoning regulations and that there are no legal issues or restrictions that could affect its value or use.

  10. Market Trends: They consider current market conditions and trends, as well as economic factors that might impact property values in the area.

  11. Amenities and Special Features: Any special amenities or unique features, such as a swimming pool, fireplace, or a well-designed outdoor living space, are factored into the appraisal.

  12. Overall Maintenance: Appraisers take note of how well the property has been maintained over time. A well-cared-for property tends to have a higher appraised value.

In summary, real estate appraisers have a comprehensive checklist when visiting properties during home inspections. They assess not only the physical condition of the property but also its location, neighborhood, and market conditions. Understanding what appraisers look for can help sellers prepare their homes for appraisal and buyers make informed decisions. Ultimately, a thorough appraisal is essential for ensuring a fair and accurate valuation in the real estate market.


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