Many factors go into the calculating value of a home. Most importantly, recently sold comparable properties must be considered. “Comps” should be similar in location, size, style, room count, condition, utility, etc.
The appraisal is part art and part science, and the latter is hard to change. Sometimes, the hardest thing for owners is to be objective about their own homes. Always realize the appraiser is limited to the true comps available, and those comps will not always support the value you may expect.
Influencing the Appraisal Process
To influence the “art” part of the equation, keep your home in good condition. Present it for appraisal as you would for sale. Prepare written information regarding improvements, and offer an extra copy for your appraiser to keep. Be punctual, courteous, and respectful, and your appraiser will do for you the best that can be done.
External Factors Affecting Home Appraisals
Keep in mind external factors such as location and market conditions can greatly impact a home’s appraisal. Areas with high demand and low supply tend to have higher property values. Also, the potential for future renovations can affect the appraisal.
Lender and Management Company Involvement
Lenders must use a management company to handle their orders, and in most cases, mortgage loan originators aren’t allowed to contact or talk to an appraiser about the value or results. If the appraisal isn’t satisfactory and there is doubt in finding comps or the value, we can provide additional comps that the appraiser may have overlooked, and the management company will contact the appraiser with those and ask for reconsideration.