Get Me a Good Appraisal

October 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So you have a client that needs their home appraised. You can’t exactly have them remodel their kitchen within the next week- or move their home away from the highway, so what advice can you give them before we go inspect the home? Of course presentation is a big factor. But unlike when trying to sell a home, the appraiser isn’t making a yes/no decision. He’s assessing the market value of the home- regardless of if he likes it or not. So here’s my newly created “Vowels” of a smooth inspection.

Accessibility- nothing is more frustrating than an inspection that doesn’t go smoothly due to: the homeowner not being there, vicious dogs, locked gates, bougainvillea covering half the house, blocked doors, etc. Make sure that the home is ready to have free and clear access to all parts of the building- inside and out.

Energy- a home is meant to be lived in, but some homes are too lived in. I’d say that one out of every fifty homes we visit are immaculate, model home knockouts. Of course many of those stand out in my mind, but don’t be on the other end of the spectrum where the home stands out for the wrong reasons. Specifically, I don’t like inspecting dark homes. When it’s too dark inside, it just plain feels spooky. Is it too much to ask the homeowner to open the blinds and perhaps turn on some lights before I arrive? And especially in the summer in Arizona. If they have A/C, is it too much to ask for them to turn it on? I’ll still do the same quality work if it’s not on, but you should know that I’m thinking about my air conditioned car the whole time I’m in a house like that.

Improvements- it’s my job to observe the improvements on a home, but remember that I can only note what I see. Stuff like new carpeting, ceiling fans and cabinets are obvious, but especially with a home that has a lot of improvements, have the homeowner prepare a written list of improvements done in the past 5 years. I’ll cross reference his list with my inspection notes and maybe I’ve missed something. It’s always better to have too much information rather than not enough.

Olfactory- lets face it, smell is very important. It’s how we determine the foods we like, the people we like and the flowers we like. Is your homeowner a smoker, an owner of an unpotty trained animal… or child, a gym rat? It’s really not that hard to spend a few bucks on some air fresheners and open the doors a few hours before I arrive. Plus, after being in so many homes, I can smell “musty”- and that’s a big warning sign that might affect the appraisal.

Underwear- working off the Energy theme above, an appraiser is appraising the house, not the owners stuff. But our stuff tends to define who we are. Some homeowner stuff just doesn’t need to be out in the open. Why? Because it’s too distracting and can make the appraiser feel a little uncomfortable- hence breaking the rhythm of the appraisal. Call me conservative if you want, but here’s some examples of “stuff” that I’ve personally seen out in the open during inspections: hash pipes, bloody underwear on the ground, unflushed toilets, a layer of cat poo on the carpet, a gun on a nightstand, pig head on a countertop, a closet full of porn on the walls. Have your homeowner put all that stuff away before I get there.

Now please remember, if ignored, this list of tips do not necessarily affect the value of the home, but they typically give me an indication on pride of ownership, which sometimes reflects on the condition of the home.

If you’d like to discuss how to better educate homeowners on preparing for the appraisal, give us a call and we’ll be happy to work with you on what’s really important for the inspection.

Visit our website at, and if that doesn’t roll off the tongue, just try Give me a call at 480-544-1217 if you have any questions. I look forward to working with you.

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