We first need to clarify that your home may have more value to you than to others. Or you may believe that your home values is much more than what your neighbor sold their house for. Unfortunately, what you think your home is worth is not always what your home will appraise for. On top of this, your home will not be able to be sold to someone that is borrowing money for more than it appraises for.
Don’t worry, you are not in this alone. Every seller and homebuyer goes through this. One big change is how appraisals work since the housing crash in 2008. Some things to consider about appraisals, and calculating your subsequent home value, are:
Instead of a couple of days to hear back, you are looking at more like a couple of weeks. While it extends the time you may be stressing while you wait to hear on the appraisal, the extra time is for a good reason. Instead of the old way of mortgage brokers hiring their own appraisers, an independent third party has to be brought in to perform the appraisal.
Instead of the average appraisal costing a couple of hundred dollars, plan on spending several hundred dollars. You hate to pay more money for any service, but this is especially true when the service is getting worse. The timeframe for the completion of the service is longer, and a lot of times the new way of doing the appraisals has created a situation when inexperienced appraisers that are not familiar with the area are performing the appraisals.
Inexperienced appraisers can actually end up low-balling the home value. In essence, the fair thing would be if the price came in exact so the buyer did not overpay and the seller did not lose money. However, the current situation is benefitting the buyer.
The appraisal is for your home; don’t just sit back and ignore this process. Make it known that you will be there for the entire appraisal to answer any questions for the appraiser. Be proactive and get selling prices from recently sold homes.
Also have documentation on any repairs or upgrades that have been recently made to the home. You will want to give them any documentation you can think of that may prove the worth of your house. You want to highlight your home and no one knows it better than you.
As mentioned above, a lot of the new appraisers are inexperienced. You being there to point out your granite countertops instead of the standard laminate countertops can be a help. You do not want to insult the appraiser, simply be helpful and kind.
Although the new appraisal process is not perfect, it is the way appraisals are done now. The old system was broken as seen by the housing crash, so changes had to be made. Make yourself involved in the process of calculating your home value and learn as much as you can!