Property Appraisal

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Are you selling your home in 2021? Are you perhaps getting a debt consolidation or home improvement loan and using the equity in your home as collateral? Knowing the true market value of your home is essential to getting the best deals possible for both these and other scenarios. To fully understand the true market value of your home it is advisable to get your property appraised by an experienced professional.   

Your home is likely the most valuable asset of all items you own. Even if you are not selling it or pursuing a home equity loan, understanding the true value of your home gives you comfort moving forward with multiple financial decisions. What are some of the best home appraisal providers and rates today? What is the state of the current housing market and how does it impact my appraisal outcome? Read ahead for an informative guide on how to get your property appraised in 2021.

Current housing Market – A Brief Summary

A shortage of available houses already existed in 2018 but not nearly as bad as the shortage the market is presently experiencing in 2021. The housing supply-and-demand differential is separated by nearly four million houses, which is a fifty-three percent decline in availability over the course of the last year alone. Median home prices have increased over seventeen percent to $375,000 per house, which is also a record high median price point. 

More people might list their homes for sale in the second half of 2021 as vaccinations continue to prove their efficacy and life returns to some semblance of normalcy in the country. The shortage of available homes plays into the hands of people selling homes now as opposed to later, provided of course they already have a new home into which they can move. Mortgage interest rates also hit a significant low earlier this year but are also expected to climb steadily (albeit temperately) into 2022. A gradual rise in interest rates regardless of how limited also supports selling your home soon to get the most value from the sale. In fact, all current housing market trends lend themselves to getting your home appraised and on the market as quickly as possible before this historic seller’s market dissipates entirely.

Home Appraisal Services 101

Home appraisal services provide objective assessments of your home’s true market value based on a number of relevant factors. Home appraisals are used when buying or selling a home. Appraisals are also used when refinancing your present home mortgage or taking out a home improvement, debt consolidation or other loan where your home is used as collateral. 

What does a home appraiser do? An appraiser files a report based on a visual inspection of your home and other factors. Final selling prices of similar homes in your area, trends in the current market and relevant aspects of the neighborhood in which you live all affect the final value of your home. The amenities in your home and on your property also have an impact on the final appraised amount, as do the square footage, floor plans, number of bathrooms and other physical factors. What other aspects are taken into consideration when a home is appraised?

  • Safety/crime statistics of the neighborhood.

  • Exterior appeal/yard quality.

  • School district.

  • Traffic patterns in/near the area.

  • Appliances included in the sale (and their age/quality).

  • History of home repairs/improvements.

  • Number of home sales in your area.

  • Flood potential.

Competing home appraisal services might be hired by each different party involved in a home buying/selling transaction. Each party wants the best value for their own purposes as the buyer, seller, broker and/or lender. Appraisals are required by law to be unbiased and written without any type of discrimination so it is rare to find competing appraisals with significant disparities between them, however.

Benefits

Hiring a professional appraisal service provides you with numerous important benefits. Professional appraisers understand the current housing market, buying/selling trends and how they all impact you and the value of your home financially. Having a professional appraisal also gives you documented ammunition and support when you go to the negotiating table with prospective buyers and/or lenders. A qualified appraiser prevents you from listing your home at a price beneath its current value. Appraisals also prevent you from listing your house well above its value and scaring off potential buyers. Additional situations for which hiring an appraisal service provides benefits include:

  • Divorces.

  • Property tax assessments.

  • Estate planning/sales.

  • Renovations.

  • Any decisions based on home equity.

Top Appraisal Providers & Rates

Numerous websites offer quick, convenient and automated home value calculation tools. For example, Chase Bank provides a free Home Value Estimator and HomeLight.com provides an estimate in minutes. Zillow, Redfin and RE/MAX also provide free home value estimators but none match the detail and final accuracy provided by a professional home appraisal service.

Home appraisals cost between an average price range of $300 and $400+ for single-family homes. Multi-family units cost around $500 and higher. Some appraisals might cost as little as $200 depending on the circumstances and location. All appraisal prices are affected by the square footage of the home and a wide variety of other factors, however.

The best home appraisal services offer qualified, unbiased assessment of your home’s value regardless of circumstances. Customer service is always a factor when determining the top services as is punctuality and attention to detail. Top U.S. national home U.S. appraisal services for 2021 include: