12 answers

What Do Appraisers Look For?

Looking to refi my house. I'm going to need to get an appraisal. I was just wondering what they look for when they walk through the house. Is there anything I can do to make the house appraise for more other than the standard painting? And remember, it has to be on the inxepnsive side.

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don't sweat it. if you WANT to paint by all means do so, but don't do it for the appraiser. ditto deep cleaning. of course it's always a good idea, but it won't make a difference in the appraised value. appraisers are looking at the 'bones' of the house, ie square footage, good foundation, wetness issues and a good roof. things like upgraded countertops and bathroom fixtures will count in your favor too, but those aren't cheap fixes. but if you don't have walk-in closets, putting an ikea organizer in your reach-in won't affect the value of your house.
the other major factor in the final number is comps. and that too is out of your control.
so make your house look nice. obviously appraisers are human and like anyone else are bound to look a tiny bit more favorably on a neat, clean, pleasant-smelling home. but they're professionals, and really don't take into account the dust-bunnies or fingerprints around the doorknobs. those matter to buyers, not to appraisers.
we recently had our house appraised for a cash-out refi. my dh asked me to take down my orlando bloom poster that's in the basement and move it out to the barn with my johnny depp poster collection. silly man. i KNOW he knows it wouldn't affect the appraiser's opinion, he's just trying to get rid of my boyfriends!
:) khairete

6 moms found this helpful

Only structural things, not cosmetic; although pride of ownership always helps. Unless you are making major structural changes, there is no need to make cosmetic changes. FYI, they typically take pictures and include them for the underwriters.

5 moms found this helpful

I just had my house appraised. My house is pretty much updated through out but basically the appraisel is based on what other houses in your area with the same sqaure footage sold for. No need to paint that does not matter. Like the other post stated unless you are doing major upgrades it will not matter. If you research other home sales in your area you will have an idea. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful

Appraisers are not concerned with aesthetics. They are looking at capital value. Bricks and sticks. Square footage, how many bedrooms/bathrooms, half baths, and other structural amenities. Decks, screened in porch/lanai, fence, etc. They don't care about paint. Or landscaping.

5 moms found this helpful

We refinanced last spring after a week of hell. The idea was that I would be on spring break but not the kids, so I could do some of the deep cleaning that hadn't been done for awhile and try to spruce things up a bit. Well 3 of the 4 of us ended up getting the flu and barely making it up off the couch. We were having a birthday party for our son on Saturday, so on Friday we somehow found the strength to clean the kitchen, living room and bathroom and had the party outside. We thought we still had at least a week before the appraiser would come, but then he called on Monday to say he was coming Thursday.

Long story short (too late), we were horrified by the state of our house. We actually asked him to reschedule. The appraiser just chuckled and said he had seen worse and that it would in no way affect the appraisal.

Don't even worry about painting. An appraisal is not the same as showing a realtor and deciding on an asking price. A realtor is going to recommend you paint. An appraiser wants to know how many bathrooms you have and what the square footage is.

Good luck with refi!

5 moms found this helpful

Actually for a refi they only look for structural issues. They could care less if the house is perfectly painted or cleaned. They are looking only at the big things that would be big fixes. Like a foundation crack, a missing door, large holes in the walls.

In other words there is no cheap fix that will give you a higher appraisal value.

An example, we had a hell of a time refinancing, long story, so we had an appraisal done in December. We had hail damage in March so had a new roof put on. The December appraisal expired so we had to have another appraisal done in April. It went up by ten thousand, wana guess how much the new roof cost?

4 moms found this helpful

Yes, most of their appraisal is a computer based program that looks at property values in your area, recent home sales and what they sold for and so on. Only once did an appraiser go inside the home we were selling.

They look at sqare footage and property lines, etc.

4 moms found this helpful

I agree with others, it is basically structure and a lot of measuring.

However, they do take pictures of all rooms and closets...

4 moms found this helpful

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