Sometimes, stuff happens.

For example, 55-year-old Jim just retired from his job after 25 years, became a widower, and decided he didn’t need a 3,500-square-foot home.

It took him a few months to decide, but he opted to sell the place he called home-sweet-home after 28 years.

But Jim had to do a few things first before he started packing up all of his prized possessions.  Experts suggested as a homeseller, he should consider getting an appraisal.

Obtaining an appraisal is an important step to the home selling process for a number of reasons; however, the most common is for a real estate or mortgage transaction.

Often, an appraisal for a mortgage may help a potential lender decide how much it is willing to lend. An appraisal may also assist a Realtor as to what price to list the home.

What an Appraiser Does

According to a recent post at, in terms of what a home appraiser actual does and looks for he/she will begin with inspecting all areas of the home inside and outside.

Additionally, appraisers checks to see how much other homes in the area have sold for, as well as how much your neighbor’s listed their big-ol’ ranch down the street.

After the visit, the article says an appraiser completes a checklist that includes:

  • An explanation of how the appraiser determined the value of the property
  • The size and condition of the house and other permanent fixtures, along with a description of any improvements that have been made and the materials used
  • Statements regarding serious structural problems, such as wet basements and cracked foundations
  • Notes about the surrounding area, such as new or established development, rural acreage
  • Evaluation of recent market trends of the area that may affect the value
  • Comparative market analysis that supports the appraisal: maps, photographs and sketches

Be forewarned, one thing an appraiser isn’t though? A home inspector. However, they will make note of obvious issues, but won’t inspect the home to see if it is up to code.

For those tasks, a home inspector will have to be hired to perform a home inspection to avoid future issues or point out – if any – what’s wrong with the house, the article reports.

The article adds the cost of an appraisal can range depending on where you live in the country, location of the property, square footage, or property type. Experts say an appraiser’s fees are typically included in the closing costs of the home, unless a deal on the property goes sour.

Good or Bad Results

What if your home gets a low appraisal? Don’t panic, just ask why and see how you can fix the problem (s). It may be as simple as adding a few cosmetic renovations, fixing items, or addressing areas that have fallen into disrepair.

It’s easy to add new paint, replace old windows, have the carpet cleaned, and install  more up-to-date appliances, as well as plant a few flowers, trees and bushes to give the outside an uplift. These are all things you can do that will add value to your home and perhaps up its appraisal.

Lucky for Jim, he hired a reputable appraiser who assessed his home for much more than he thought. After hiring a Realtor, Jim’s home sold to a nice couple for three times what he paid and he moved to a smaller home nearby.