There are many ways to buy a home. You can do it by finding a home on your own and working directly with the seller. You can use a real estate agent to find you a home that has been listed on the market or you could buy one that has been through the foreclosure process. Another possible option is the short sale, or a home that is being sold for less than what is owed out for a variety of reasons. No matter how you buy your home, no matter what kind of price you are thinking of paying for your home; no matter what kind of a good deal you think you might be getting on your home, it is so much better to have an appraisal done before signing a single paper so that you know what you are buying is actually worth what you are paying.
Why Should You Get a Home Appraisal?
- Because it protects you from paying more for a home than it is really worth.
- Because it lets you know whether the home and the surrounding area are really a sound investment or not.
- Most banks and third party mortgage brokers will require it.
Who pays for the home appraisal?
- A seller may pay for a home appraisal when the home is first listed to be able to fairly set the asking price.
- A buyer who is required to have a home appraisal would be responsible for the cost.
When would I NOT have to have an appraisal done?
- If the seller just finished an appraisal with an independent home appraiser within a month or two then that appraisal could be acceptable to the bank.
- If you are interested in just trusting total strangers with thousands of dollars.
What does an appraiser look at?
The general condition of the home itself with specific interest paid to the major structural and operation systems which include:
- Roofing and Drywall
- Flooring and Subflooring
- Heating and Cooling Systems
- Wiring and Plumbing
- Basement and Crawlspace
- The general condition of the neighboring homes
- The area itself, including the economic health.
After the appraisal is finished, the appraiser will take the information back and enter it into a computer program that will give the values and scores for each area. The home’s appraised value will then be given in a detailed report. Remember however, the asking price that is given may not reflect the appraised value accurately, especially if the agent thinks there are some unique selling points to the home or the area that could potentially garner more from the right buyer.