How to Get Your Best Home Appraisal in Six Steps

A home appraisal is an unbiased assessment by a professional. Appraisers, like any experts, need the right tools to get the most accurate report for their clients. What homeowners need to understand is that they hold many of these tools, in fact, some of the most essential ones, and are key to an appraisal. It also avoids delays, as pulling documents or doing state-required safety measures after the fact will slow the turnaround time of an appraisal. Something that is never favorable when a homeowner is looking to refinance or sell with a looming deadline.

Let’s Unpack What Homeowners Have at Their Disposal to be Prepared:

1. Sometimes it’s the little things… like a water heater strap. In California, your water heater is required to be double strapped. Thankfully the process of doing this is inexpensive and easy but needs to be completed before your appraiser visits. It is such a commonly required home improvement that many how-to videos exist for homeowners to use, like this one. This is particularly important if your appraisal is being completed for a home loan, as a lack of safety measures can heavily influence the loan process. 

2. Other required safety items for your California home are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Working smoke detectors must be installed on each floor and in each bedroom. Our state also requires that all properties have CO (carbon monoxide) detectors installed in the main living areas on all levels. Homeowners that find they need to do an installation after assessing whether they meet these requirements can find useful tutorials for installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors online or simply find a licensed handyman.

3. Homeowners should review and make a list of home updates and their completion dates to have ready for the appraiser. This list should include remodels, added insulation, and anything that would not be already noted in the county records. Which contain all building permits for the given property.

4. If your property has any unusual or unique characteristics, make sure to add that information to your list for the appraiser. Any factual details you can provide that shed light on your property will help an appraiser value your home accurately. 

5. If you own the solar on your home, gather the documentation for the appraiser. It could be a very valuable document. With the average home sale price being at a high this year, this has the potential to contribute to the market value of your property greatly.

6. Lastly, collect all your documentation for any additions or modifications done to the home. If you are unsure of the details of permitted work done in the past you can also request a Building Permit History Report in your county. While the appraiser will pull the permit history prior to their visit, it can help you better prepare and focus on these important improvements that will increase the value in your home if done properly. 

DVS Appraisals Can Help

Whether you are a homeowner or realtor, DVS is always here to help you plan for this important appraisal step. We are experienced in all areas of the real estate appraisal industry, including valuing property for mortgage adjustments, tax assessments, estate planning, and even divorce settlements. We’re an efficient and trustworthy advisor when you need it. Reach out and we will get someone to consult with you on your appraisal needs within 24 hours. Contact us anytime, we’re ready to get to work.