Whenhomeowners know that the time is coming up for an appraisal, theysometimes get a little nervous. Since they are about to be judged onthe way that their home appears, it can lead to some uneasiness. Ifsome homeowners are under duress or need to leave town quickly for anew job, they also may feel that the appraisal holds a great amountof bearing on what will happen with the asking price for their home.There are some strategies out there that we can guide you through tohelp. Don’t let the appraisal process spook you too much, as a swiftclosing may be right around the corner!

Itseems very obvious, but the most important element of the appraisalis finding a professional that knows the local market inside and out.Make sure their credentials are up to par, and meet with them to geta feel for them. Some of these are hired hands that work out of theirhomes and predominantly on their phones, but don’t let that dismayyou. You can easily get a feel just by talking to them for a fewminutes if they have experience with the particular property type youare selling. Other Realtors in your area will also be a great sourceof information, and can steer you towards the best one for you. Searching the Appraisal Subcommittee’s National Registry will let youknow if their license is valid for work.

Preppingthe house itself is going to be a very crucial element that will helpyour home get sold, and quickly. Some of the things that should belooked at quickest are items such as carpets with stains on them, andwoodwork that has become loose. These are sometimes easy fixes, butjust require a bit of time as well as a good contractor or someonewith the knowledge to do a great job can accomplish. Screens onwindows that are torn are an easy project to tackle that will makethe house appear much more marketable, as well as chipped paint onwalls, or loose wallpaper. Locks and hinges are another few items totake a close look at, and the heating and cooling system has to be upto par. Make sure that none of the important appliances such as thefridge and oven are faulty, and that the roof doesn’t have any leaks:these are some of the things looked at very closely.

Whenyou have looked over your options closely, don’t let fees make yourdecision. If someone seems to be charging a bit more than average,they are probably not going to do a lackluster job on your home.Typical fees range from $1,500 – $5,000, and this will changedepending on property type, depth of the job, and city location. InRichmond, $2,000 seems to be about the norm. The very most importantappraisal is the first one. If a property has loss, stolen goods, ordestroyed items, it then becomes more difficult to determine thevalue, and the waters get a bit harder to treat through.

Hereare some questions to ask when you are looking for an appraiser:

  • Askfor documentation of accomplishments: an ASA accredited appraiserwill provide a resume that includes their job history.
  • Askhow their experience and expertise relates to the particular job youneed completed
  • Inquireabout how they have kept up with education in the field
  • Askif the appraisal report you will receive is USPAP compliant
  • Makesure every last question about fees is answered before you sign acontract
  • Makesure that you are explained exactly what your appraisal report willinclude.