They have the power to strike fear into the hearts of buyers, sellers and homeowners.
Okay, maybe a little over the top, but only a little. Why? Sooooo many reasons!
- Appraisals are an opinion of value, supported by facts – but an opinion just the same. Two appraisers can look at the same house on the same day and end up with two different values. A lot of it depends on which facts each uses to support the value.
- Appraisals depend on recent settled properties that are actually similar to your house. The fewer comparable properties there are to your house, the more creative the appraiser has to get. And they have actual rules they have to follow, so just because you think they should use your neighbors house that sold for a gazillion dollars doesn’t mean the appraiser is actually allowed to use it.
- The one thing you can control in all of this? The actual condition and appearance of your house – it has more weight than you think. Watch the clip above from ABC’s Nightline. If you can’t watch online video, here’s the written version.
Think about it – if appraiser was that influenced by the condition of your property, think how a buyer might be affected!
For more good information, read “What Your Home Is Really Worth” from this month’s Money Magazine – it offers tips from appraisers in the field – what they see and what it translates to in terms of value. And if staging works on buyers, why not appraisers? Check out “Staging With Superior Interior Design” for some more tips. (Be patient – sometimes this website links slowly, but it’s worth it!)