Before you can get a refinance or mortgage loan, you need to go through the appraisal process, but how do you go about getting your home appraised in Kansas City?
This article will cover what real estate appraisals are, how to get your home appraised, the price of the process and who pays, and how to make sure the process goes off without a hitch.
What Is a Home Appraisal?
An appraisal is a qualified estimation of the current market value of your house. It is a crucial component in purchasing a home. Licensed or trained professionals carry out evaluations and offer their opinions without bias.
The real estate appraiser is compensated to determine the value of your house. However, whether you can obtain a mortgage or refinance due to their estimate does not relate to them.
The appraisals homes process can take anywhere from half an hour to a few hours. First, the professional appraiser would come to visit and examine your home. They would measure its size, look at its features, and examine the state of your house (interior and exterior). Furthermore, this person will take pictures of all spaces.
Afterward, they look at sale records of houses. Finally, they examine the sale records of houses that were recently sold and are comparable to yours. To get the best option, they would typically compare sales prices of houses in your area.
The appraiser would then use the evaluation of your house and these records to make a professional estimation of how much your home would sell for if you put it on the market.
The bank will use this figure coupled with your assets, income, and credit history to decide on the terms of your loan should they give you one.
Steps to Get a Home Appraised
Before getting a refinance or mortgage loan, you must prepare for the appraisal. Here are the steps you need to take.
Hiring an Appraiser
The first thing you need to do is get the services of an appraiser. It would be best to find a certified and licensed appraiser with vast experience appraising homes, preferably in your area. Here are some ways you can find a top-notch appraiser:
Find an Appraiser Through Your Lender
If you are looking for a refinance or a mortgage loan, your lender will hire an appraiser through appraisal management companies (AMC). An appraisal management company will provide you with a third-party appraiser not affiliated with the borrower or mortgage lender.
Asking friends, family, neighbors, local real estate agents, or others for referrals is a fantastic idea. In most cases, getting referrals from friends or others who recently had their houses appraised is one of the best ways to find a superb appraiser.
If you would rather get an appraiser by yourself, then you should be able to find one online.
The Appraisal Institute is a great place to start. The institute is an organization with a collection of the highest standard of appraisers. In addition, it has a tool where you can find an appraiser in your area by typing in your ZIP code.
The platform even features advanced searching where you can search for professionals based on specialties and their language.
Find a Local Expert
One of the most important aspects of finding an appraiser is finding one who has a vast knowledge of homes and trends in your area. Hence, it is more convenient to look for someone with experience in real estate appraisals in Kansas City.
When you have found a handful of candidates, you should ask the right questions. Confirm if they are licensed or how much experience they have. \
That said, it is not enough to take their word for it. Take extra steps to ensure they are licensed and have credentials. You can do this by going through the licensing agency in your state. This agency should be able to give you a written confirmation that a licensed appraiser is in good conduct and has no disciplinary case.
Don’t be scared to ask all the necessary questions, such as their specialties and adeptness to certain styles, ages, or others.
Who Pays for Appraisals?
Regardless of the outcome of the loan process, the borrower is still obligated to pay for the evaluation because the appraiser did the work. Paying for an appraisal is worthwhile if you get a desirable rate and the refinancing terms you desire. However, if a low appraisal does not allow you to refinance, it may feel like you wasted your money.
Someone who wants to buy your home might need the help of an appraiser to ensure they are not paying too much for the house. In that case, the buyer would pay for the process.
The Cost of Hiring an Expert Appraiser
Various states have different requirements for the appraisal fee, but they must be reasonable for the region. A typical single-family home professional appraisal will cost between $300 and $500. However, you might pay more depending on the appraiser and your location.
Tips to Get a House Appraised Successfully
Prepare Your Home for Appraisal
Appraisers have the ability to look past a little dirt when making their evaluations, so you do not need to worry about making sure your home is spotless.
Instead, try as much as possible to ensure your home is in top shape. This includes making repairs, remodeling, or renovations if need be. You can leave things that are just cosmetic and focus on damaged areas like broken windows or other safety hazards.
Improve the Look of Your Curb
The odds of buyers paying more for your home increase when they find your curb appealing. Hence, ensuring your curb looks great is in your best interest.
You can do this by focusing on yard care, i.e., cutting grass, fertilizing the lawn, and weed control. Alternatively, you can make the landscape look good by tidying up shrubs and flower beds. Doing all this can add to the qualitative value of your house.
If the plan is to sell your home after an appraisal, consider upgrading to increase its value. For example, you could change countertops and cabinets if you haven’t done that in a while. Another example would be to add air conditioning to a home in hotter climates.
Provide Suitable Documents
After getting your home in order and making sure everything is in place, it’s time to get all your essential documents together. These documents will help the appraiser accurately assess your home and its value.
You should compile all documents regarding home improvements for the past 10 to 15 years. Ensure also to have correct or recent remodels, upgrades, and new additions.
Clean Your Home
As mentioned earlier, your home being messy will not affect its value, but it is still a good idea to clean it up before the appraiser’s visit.
Most importantly, cleaning up visible areas, such as floors and countertops, would be best. Clean up grime and dust and vacuum. Decluttering and cleanup are especially essential if you last lived in the home a while ago.
Make Your Home Accessible
Every room in the house should be easy to get to. In most cases, people lock the basement or attic, especially if kids or pets are in the house. However, unlock these rooms and give the appraiser access to all areas of your house. Allow them to measure it, take pictures, and evaluate all the details.
Consider Your Pets
Pets can be a distraction during the appraisal process, so keep them out of the way. For example, you can put your dog in a crate or your cat in a carrier. In addition, inform the appraiser about any pets you have before they enter your home.
If you know how the appraisal process works, you will have the best chance of getting an appraiser to give your property the highest possible value.
Purchase and refinance assessments are done by humans, so there is room for mistakes and various perspectives. This means that the values don’t always match up with what the borrowers want.
That said, if you get a low appraisal, you can appeal, but keep in mind that you need to have enough information to make your case.
Hopefully, this article has all you need to know regarding appraisals and how to get your home appraised.