Home Appraisal Checklist and Tips

Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read
Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read

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A home appraisal is a process that involves analyzing a property to determine its fair market value. Appraisers are conducted by licensed professionals and are required by mortgage lenders before you can close on a home to ensure the loan doesn’t exceed what the property is worth. 

If you’re planning to sell your home soon, this guide will educate you on what home appraisers are looking for and how to prepare your home so it appraises as high as possible.

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What Do Home Appraisers Look For?

Home appraisers conduct an exterior and interior inspection of your home and research recently sold similar properties in the area (or comparables) to compile what’s referred to as Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. 

Home Appraisal Checklist

Size of Your Property

  • What’s the square footage of the home? 
  • How many bathrooms and bedrooms does your home have? 

Exterior Appraisal

  • Are there any indications of leaks or mold behind the walls? 
  • How’s the quality of the roof, and is it free of leaks? 
  • Were high-quality building materials used to construct the home? 
  • Are there any detached structures (i.e., sheds, garages) on the property? 

Interior Appraisal

  • Is the layout of the home functional or overly complex? 
  • Does it include a central heating and cooling system and appliances? 
  • Are the electrical and plumbing systems fully functional? 
  • Do the garage door and remote work? 
  • Do the windows and doors operate properly? 
  • Are there ceilings and walls free of cracks? 
  • Are the railings in the home (if applicable) secure? 
  • Are there any leaky faucets?

Improvements and Renovations

  • How old is the home? 
  • Have you recently made improvements or repairs to the home? 
  • Was a new roof installed in the past few years?

Neighborhood Features

  • Is the home located in a safe neighborhood or area? 
  • Are there highly-rated schools nearby?
  • Is the property within close proximity to retailers, grocery stores, fitness centers or major highways? 
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Tips To Prepare for a Home Appraisal

Before the appraiser heads to your home, here are some tips to help improve the condition of your home and prepare for the visit: 

Prepare Information About Your Home

The document should include key information about your home, including the square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms it has. You can also note significant features of the home that could be easily overlooked, like the quality of the flooring or countertops. 

Share Your Home Upgrades

Compile a list of renovations you’ve done to the home and share it with the home appraiser. Even if some improvements and repairs aren’t necessarily visible at first glance, a list that the appraiser can refer to could help boost the property’s fair market value. 

Declutter Your Home

An untidy home won’t necessarily result in a low appraisal. However, decluttering will improve the interior appearance of your home and enable the appraiser to easily spot upgrades you’ve made. Consider organizing your living room, bedrooms, kitchen and closets. Try to dispose of any items you no longer need, and don’t forget to deep clean before the appraiser’s visit. 

Improve Your Curb Appeal

It’s also good to make an excellent first impression on the home appraiser. So, take the necessary steps to spruce up your home’s exterior and improve its curb appeal. You can pull weeds, dispose of dead flowers, pressure wash the sidewalks and exterior of the home (including fencing), resod dead grass and most importantly, mow the lawn. 

Make Minor Repairs

Test out all the systems and appliances in your home to confirm they work. If you spot any issues, have them rectified immediately. It’s also a good idea to replace any old light bulbs or batteries in garage door openers to ensure they work properly when the appraiser stops by. 

Be Polite

If possible, make arrangements with a sitter for your children and pets (if applicable) on the day of the appraisal. The last thing you want is for the appraiser to be distracted during the visit. Most importantly, be kind and willing to answer any questions they may have. 

Sell Your House Faster

Need to sell your home fast and don’t have enough time in your busy schedule to make improvements that attract the right buyers? Consider an iBuyer, like Offerpad, to get a cash offer for your home and close in under a month without using a real estate agent. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • Step 1: Complete a brief questionnaire and upload pictures of your home.
  • Step 2: Receive a cash offer within 24 hours.
  • Step 3: Accept the offer or explore other options to sell your home.

If you have a flexible timeline for selling your home and prefer to test the market, Offerpad Flex could be a good fit. It affords you the ability to list your home with Offerpad and have peace of mind knowing you still have a backup cash offer that can be accepted within 60 days. Plus, you’ll have access to complimentary services and advance funds to help improve the aesthetics and curb appeal of your home. 

Learn more about Offerpad or get your free, no-obligation cash offer by submitting an online inquiry.

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