How to Deal with Improper Home Appraisals
If you’re considering refinancing your home, one of the first steps you must take is to contact a lender to schedule a home inspection by a licensed home appraiser. Since the results of a home appraisal significantly impact the loan amount the borrower will qualify for, it seems obvious that homeowners should take certain steps to help get the highest appraisal amount possible. But in reality, a surprising number of borrowers neglect to take even the most basic measures to ensure a positive outcome. Here are some common mistakes homeowners make shared by a trusted company that does refinance mortgages on Long Island, Cliffco Mortgage Bankers
They ignore their home’s appearance.
Believe it or not, many homeowners fail to even clean their home prior to an appraisal. Appraisers encounter homes with interior and exterior debris and clutter, uncut lawns, and overgrown shrubs. They see homes in obvious disrepair, with peeling paint, and leaky ceilings and stained carpets. While it is not always financially possible to fix everything, a little elbow grease often goes a long way.
They fail to provide proof of improvements.
On the contrary, some homeowners do a great deal of work on their homes prior to their appraisal, yet they don’t bother to gather documentation of these upgrades. When the appraiser arrives at your home, it’s a smart idea to present them with a list of improvements you’ve made over the last 12-24 months, along with receipts and/or amounts spent on each project. You should also have your most recent property survey on hand, as well as your HOA papers, if applicable.
They don’t know what similar homes in their neighborhood are worth.
Some people are completely in the dark when it comes to home values. If you’re thinking of refinancing your home, you’ll want to spend some time researching recent home sales of similar homes in your area to get a general idea of what your own home is worth.
They focus only on the dollar amount listed on the appraisal.
Your appraiser will likely spend a great deal of time preparing a full report of your home’s value as well as details on how he or she arrived at that amount. So it would make sense to take some time reading through the report, right? Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. Many homeowners skip to the page that indicates the final appraisal amount. However, if that valuation is lower than what you’d hoped for, there may be errors or misinformation in the report that can be used to appeal the appraisal.
While an appraiser shouldn’t let personal interactions with the homeowner impact their valuation of the property, it certainly never hurts to be polite. Some appraisers even encounter situations that go far beyond unpleasantness. They’ve had to navigate through hoarder homes, been attacked by dogs and other animals inside and outside the home, gotten shocked by electric fences, and tiptoed around animal feces in places it shouldn’t be. Try putting yourself in the appraiser’s shoes. They’re walking into a stranger’s home where they don’t always know what to expect. Help make the experience more comfortable for them by exercising common sense and consideration.
For more information on estimates and appraised values contact Cliffco Mortgage at (516) 408-7300.