Now that you know what a home appraisal is, you’re probably wondering how is a home appraisal done? An appraiser is required to take several steps to determine a property’s value. He or she will visit the property in-person and review recent sales of comparable homes. The data gathered during this process is combined and presented to you in a final report.
When you hire someone to appraise the property, it can take an hour or more, depending on the size of the home, the layout, and how the home appraisal is done. The appraiser will measure the square footage, count the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and look at the housing data provided by local county records to ensure accuracy.
Your home appraiser also will look at the major systems and structure of the house. Appraisers must look for damage (water, mold, etc.), overall plumbing, and the condition of the furnace and roof to assess the overall structure. Appraisers account for many home improvements and upgrades as well. This is perhaps the most confusing area for all parties involved, because there can be subjective or different opinions on the value of certain things (such as view).
The next step is for the appraiser to look at comparables, often referred to as “comps.” Comparables are similar homes that have recently sold in the general area or even a specific neighborhood or subdivision. Appraisers look for houses that share similar characteristics with the subject property, such as size, age and architectural style. Comps typically only include homes listed and sold within the past three to six months.
The last step in the home appraisal process is preparing a final report of value. This report will provide a complete property analysis, outlining how the appraiser calculated the home’s worth.