Tag - Article

Home Appraisal Tips to Maximize Home Value

There are several things sellers can do to pump up the value of their home. The best advice is to be prepared before the appraisal takes place. Tips for increasing the value of your home include:

  • Vetting the Competition:  Research what homes are selling for in your area. You can access public property records through sites such as ‘Open Listings.’ Look at homes that are similar to yours that have sold in the last six months. Stay within a few miles radius of your home and look for homes with comparable square footage, layout, upgrades and condition. 
  • Completing Minor Repairs and Fixes:  If you have a list of projects that need to be finished, do them now. These may be a running toilet flush, a squeaky door or a non-working garbage disposal. Although these are small details, they add up to the overall condition of your home. Take a tour around your home with a pad and pencil and take note of needed repairs.
  • Improving the Look of the Outside:  Your home’s exterior plays an important part in assessing its value. Always think of your home’s curb appeal. Repair any loose roof shingles or clogged gutters. Make sure the pathway to the garage and front door are clutter-free and well-lit. Make sure your lawn is mowed the day before the appraiser is due to arrive and think about adding some decorative finishes to your doorway.
  • Making Cosmetic Upgrades:  There is always the possibility that if you invest a lot of money into remodeling your home, you may not recoup your investment in added value. However, smaller cosmetic upgrades are always worth the effort. You can add a fresh coat of paint, replace a damaged bathroom vanity and get newer fixtures with little money or effort. With a small investment of time, your home will get a new and updated look. 
  • Documenting the Improvements:  Make a note of all the improvements you have done over the years and make a list of any big upgrades and the dates they were done. Save the paperwork from the upgrades as it helps to validate your statements as well as help the appraiser assess the quality of work that was done.
  • Cleaning Your Home Thoroughly:  Generally, a clean house will rank higher in terms of overall condition than a home that appears dirty.
  • Giving Your Appraiser Space:  You may be tempted to give him or her a tour of your home and point out all the improvements you have made. Resist this impulse as professional appraisers do this every day and know what to look for. If you follow them around, you may run the risk of annoying them or revealing too much about the home. Be polite and cordial and available to answer any questions they may have during, or at the end, of the appraisal. 

At Superior Mortgage Company, Inc., we specialize in residential and commercial loans and provide the best products and services available. Whether you are purchasing, refinancing or in need of a home equity loan, and regardless of any credit problems, we can help you. Contact the company with the answers you need. Please call us at 845-883-8200. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Read more...

What Happens During a Home Appraisal?

Getting appraisals for your home when you are buying or refinancing can be challenging. If the appraisal comes in higher or lower than the sale price, both parties will need to negotiate accordingly. Therefore, it is important to know what home appraisals consist of and what sellers can do to move the process along successfully. 

If the home you want to buy appraises for less than your offer price, you may choose to:

  • Make up the price difference by finding the additional funds to pay the amount between your down payment and your loan. The seller may also agree to lower the listing price but in today’s competitive market, this is becoming more uncommon.
  • Cancel the deal if you have an appraisal contingency. If the appraised value comes in less than the agreed on purchase price, and you do not have the necessary funds to pay the difference, you may be able to get back your deposit if you have met the terms and deadlines of your offer.

During a home appraisal, a licensed appraiser conducts an inspection of the property. If you already have a loan, the lender usually orders the appraisal as they are the ones to bring the most money to the purchase. During the home appraisal, the appraiser will review ‘comps.’ Comps for a property refer to nearby, similar properties that have recently sold. This helps the appraiser to understand the local real estate market and factor it into the property value. During the property visit, the appraiser will consider the other aspects that affect property value such as the property’s condition, value-adding or detracting features, upgrades, additions and lot size. When the appraiser is finished inspecting the property and area comps, he or she will put their findings into an appraisal report. Most importantly, they will finalize the appraised home value. 

If you are tasked with finding a reliable appraiser, find one that bases their opinion on a mix of experience and education and writes their report in a way that conforms to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices set by the Congress-approved Appraisal Foundation. It may be helpful to begin the search process at the federal government’s Appraisal Subcommittee Website, which provides links to state government websites that list state-certified appraisers. Check to ensure that their certifications are still valid and search the national registry to check if they have been a subject of any disciplinary actions. Contact the appraisers you are interested in and ask for references. You will want to select the appraiser with whom you feel the most comfortable based on references, pricing and the rapport you may have established.

At Superior Mortgage Company, Inc., we specialize in residential and commercial loans and provide the best products and services available. Whether you are purchasing, refinancing or in need of a home equity loan, and regardless of any credit problems, we can help you. Contact the company with the answers you need. Call us at 845-883-8200.

Read more...