Know the Market
One of the top factors in your home appraisal will be the local real estate market. Comparables tell the story of how other homes are selling, and they tell the history of purchase price and appreciation or depreciation of home values. As 2010 drew to a close, 23.2 percent of homeowners had homes worth less than their original mortgages [source: Ellis]. In 2009, that percentage was 21.8 percent so it's likely that your home could be worth less now than a year ago [source: Ellis]. Few areas of the country have seen growth in housing values, but buyers are still buying -- it is their market, after all -- and sellers still need to sell.
Maybe one of the biggest things to prepare when getting ready for a home appraisal is your heart. Putting both financial equity and sweat equity into your house and having to consider losing value isn't something to get excited about, but doing all you can to ensure a fair sale in the current market provides closure and the opportunity to settle into a new home with new hopes for seeing growth in years to come.
More tips for sprucing up a house inside and out follow below.
- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). "Residential Info: Home and Garden Tips from Landscape Architects." ASLA.org. 2010. (Dec. 6, 2010)http://www.asla.org/ContentDetail.aspx?id=25654
- Ballinger, Barbara. "Split-Level Homes: Outdated or Underrated?" Realtor.org. Sept. 2008. (Dec. 7, 2010)http://www.realtor.org/rmohome_and_design/architecturecoach/articlearchive/0809architecturecoach
- Bedard, Moe. "Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Holds Mortgage Fraud Summit in Los Angeles." LoanSafe.org. Oct. 1, 2010. (Jan. 5, 2011)http://www.loansafe.org/financial-fraud-enforcement-task-force-holds-mortgage-fraud-summit-in-los-angeles
- Better Homes and Gardens. "20 Ways to Add Curb Appeal." BHG.com. 2010. (Dec. 6, 2010)http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/curb-appeal/ways-to-add-curb-appeal/
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition, Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate." 2010. (Dec. 1, 2010)http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos300.htm
- Chongchua, Phoebe. "Seniors Looking to Downsize, Seek Opportunities to Socialize in Urban Living Areas." RealtyTimes.com. Apr. 30, 2010. (Dec. 6, 2010)http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20100430_seniors.htm
- Coldwell Banker. "Uncovering Trends among the New Wave of Homebuyers." Nov. 8, 2010. (Dec. 6, 2010)http://www.coldwellbanker.com/real_estate/learn?learnPage=DETAIL&contentId=14558365
- Ellis, Blake. "Home Values Tumble $1.7 Trillion in 2010." CNNMoney.com. Dec. 9, 2010. (Dec. 9, 2010)http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/09/real_estate/home_value/index.htm
- Federal Reserve Board. "Agencies Issue Final Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines." FederalReserve.gov. Dec. 2, 2010. (Dec. 6, 2010)http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20101202a.htm
- Freddie Mac. "Home Values Decline in Third Quarter." FreddieMac.com. Nov. 30, 2010. (Dec. 3, 2010)http://www.freddiemac.com/news/archives/rates/2010/3qhpi10.html
- Home Buying Institute. "How to Prepare for a Home Appraisal." HomeBuyingInstitute.com. 2010. (Dec. 2, 2010)http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/sellingtips/2009/03/how-to-pepare-for-home-appraisal.html
- Matthews, Steve. "Fed Requires Banks to Select Appraisers Based on Performance." Bloomberg.com. Dec. 2, 2010. (Dec. 6, 2010)http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-02/fed-requires-banks-to-select-appraisers-based-on-performance.html
- Mullins, Luke. "Is the Age of the Suburb Over? 4 Key Demographic Trends." U.S. News & World Report. MSN.com. 2010. (Dec. 6, 2010)http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=23482112>1=35000
- Redfin.com. "Comparative Market Analysis." 2010. (Dec. 8, 2010)http://www.redfin.com/buy-a-home/comparative-market-analysis
- Zillow.com. "Your Home Appraisal, What's the Big Deal?" Zillow.com. Dec. 2, 2008. (Dec. 8, 2010)http://www.zillow.com/wikipages/Your-Home-Appraisal-Whats-the-Big-Deal/
You'll deal with a lot of different people when buying or selling a home, including an appraiser. Learn how to get the best appraisal.