We get a lot of questions regarding appraisals from both buyers and sellers. We asked Kelly Kellogg with Appraisal Experts to weigh in and give us her professional opinion on your appraisal questions.
1. What’s the difference between an appraisal and the tax appraiser’s value?
A tax appraiser’s value is computer generated. It does not take into account the condition of the property or any upgrades to the interior of the home. The tax appraiser’s value also doesn’t take into consideration the view from your home- Does it back to a busy road? Does it have a beautiful lake view? These are all things that a home appraiser will adjust to give you the true value of your home. Secondly, tax appraisers do not always have the correct square footage on record. If a tax appraiser cannot walk around an entire house to measure due to a locked gate, they will give it their best guess.
2. What kind of upgrades give you the best return on investment in a home?
Kitchens tend give the best return on investment. But it is important to remember not to over-improve your kitchen for your neighborhood. When we appraise houses, we look at similar homes in your neighborhood. If you have the best kitchen on the block, you may not get the entire return on your investment.
3. Should I get an appraisal before I list my home for sale?
Absolutely! Why? In this more balanced market, a seller needs to be more proactive when listing their home for sale. You don’t want to leave money on the table by pricing it too low. You also don’t want to sit on the market because you priced it too high. Having an appraisal before you list your home will give you peace of mind when you go to the negotiating table. An appraisal fee is a small investment in making sure your home sells for what it is worth.
4. As a buyer, why should I get an appraisal during the buying process?
An appraisal can protect you from making a poor investment. During the purchasing process, you want to make sure you are paying a fair value for the home you have fallen in love with. An appraisal will give everyone an unbiased opinion on the value of the home.
5. What is the best method to price a home correctly?
The method most sellers use to price their home is price per square foot. While that will give you a great ball park price, an appraisal gets very specific. An appraiser finds houses that are similar in size to yours, then will make adjustments for upgrades, location, interior condition, the view, etc. Every house is different, and not every neighborhood has homes with similar floor plans, so it is important to know that you are pricing your home correctly.
You can learn more about Kelly Kellogg and her team at http://www.appraisal-experts.com/ or by calling 407-644-8885.