What Do Appraisers Look For When Determining A Property’s Value?

Most people are surprised to learn what appraisers actually look at when determining the value of a real estate property.

A common misconception homeowners generally have is that the value of their home is determined after the appraiser has completed their physical property inspection.

However, the appraiser actually already has a good idea of the property’s value by the time they have scheduled an appointment to stop by the property.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry so much about pushing back an appointment a few days just to “clean things up” in order to help influence the value of your property.

While a clean house will certainly make it easier for the appraiser to notice improvements, the only time you should be concerned about “clutter” is if it is damaging to the dwelling.

The Key Components Addressed In An Appraisal

The Site:

Location, view, topography, lot size, utilities, zoning, external factors, highest and best use, landscaping features…


Quality of construction, finish work, fixed appliances and any defining features


Age, deterioration, renovations, upgrades, added features

Health & Safety:

Structural integrity, code compliance


Above grade and below grade improvements


Is the property conforming to the neighborhood?

Functional Utility:

Is the property functional as built – style and use?


Garages, Carports, Shops, etc..


Curb appeal, lot size, & conforming to the neighborhood are obvious to the appraiser when they drive down into the neighborhood pull up in front of your home.

When entering your home, they are going to look at the overall design, condition, finish work, upgrades, any defining features, functional utility, square footage, number of rooms and health and safety items.

Be sure to have all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in working condition.

Since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate, the appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser whom is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling or refinancing.

If you’re interested in what specifically appraisers are looking for, here is a copy of the blank 1040 URAR form that is used by every appraiser in the country.

Related Update on HVCC:

Appraisers hired for a mortgage transaction on a conforming loan are chosen from a pool of qualified appraisers at random. Neither you nor your lender has the flexibility of deciding which appraiser will inspect your home.

This recent change was brought on with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct HVCC, and is effective with conventional loans originated on or after May 1, 2009.


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March 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

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About Carolyn

To give you a little bit about myself I am a veteran of the Real Estate profession. I have been in the mortgage industry for over 20 years, been a licensed Real Estate Professional and am a home owner myself. I have a true understanding of all sides of a purchase transaction and know the importance of communication to all parties to make the deal close. I started my financial career in Seattle with Washington Mutual back in 1991 and have continued to grow in the industry through various aspects of the business. I have had the honor of being on Congressman Bill Posey's Financial Roundtable in 2010 and in 2011. I have been an Underwriter, processor as well as a Mortgage Loan Originator. At Certified Mortgage Planners we have the unique ability to broker our loans as well as a direct lend. What this means for you is we have multiple options to choose from and are a full service lender which allows us to help our clients fit in the best possible financing . My greatest satisfaction in my career is helping people in our community achieve homeownership, whether it is their 1st home, their last home or investment and helping my Realtor partners achieve there goals. What is also important to me is treating people fairly and ethically. I work with people in all price ranges and no matter what the objective is and will be there from start to finish. I feel truly blessed to be a part of such a great business and enjoy the challenges that it sometimes brings.

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