In Portland, OR and everywhere, homeowners are often anxious about having an appraiser view their home. I also do not like to invite strangers to walk through my house. The experience can feel like an invasion of privacy, and homeowners often feel nervous about the appraiser finding a problem that affects the value of the property. Home value has real-life consequences when the appraisal is for lending, sale, estate settlement, taxes, divorce, or bankruptcy. Sometimes knowing what to expect from the appraiser can relieve some anxiety about the appraisal process.
It is important to understand that no matter what embarrassing thing you might have in your home, the appraiser has probably seen it before. The appraiser does not care if you have some dirty dishes in the sink or a pile of laundry. The appraiser is only interested in the condition, quality, features, and other marketability influences of the property. Just remember that too much clutter could keep the appraiser from seeing the true condition of the property because the appraiser is viewing your home thru the eyes of the typical buyer. Appraisers and buyers are human. Consequently, it could help to tidy up a little before the appraiser comes.
The purpose of the appraisal inspection is to gather sufficient information about the subject property so that the appraiser can make reasonable comparisons with other properties and come to a credible opinion of value. For some appraisals, the appraiser may not inspect the property. For other appraisals, the appraiser might just drive by the property. However, in most home appraisals the appraiser performs an on-site viewing of the subject property.
A typical on-site home appraisal viewing includes the following:
1. Measurement of the exterior to determine the finished and unfinished areas of the home.
2. Photo documentation of exterior sides, street, and possible view.
3. A walk-thru of all interior rooms and outbuildings.
4. Photo documentation of important interior rooms like kitchen, baths, and living rooms.
5. The appraiser will likely ask questions about what types of updates have been made to the property and the age of those updates.
6. The appraiser may turn on lights, furnace, or water. Depending on intended use, the appraiser may also peek in the attic or crawl space. However, it is important to recognize that the appraiser is not a home inspector. Based on what is observed, the appraiser may recommend further inspections or base the appraisal on assumptions about the true condition of the property.
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