Real Estate Reference Having Your House Appraised
Sunday 17 February
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  by Lee Dobbins

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  Having your house appraised can be a scary step in the moving process, especially if you donít know what to expect. Will your house pass muster or will they find some hidden defects and problems lurking in the basement and attic? Should you scrub the house clean?

Donít worry Ė this isnít a test of how clean you keep your house or even if your house has problems (that will be for the home inspector to find out). The appraiser is there to determine a fair market value for your home. Whether you are selling the house or refinancing, this is a common part of the process and the inspector is quite used to traipsing about peoples homes in all kinds of disarray so you need not be embarrassed if your house is messy and it will not affect the value the appraiser puts on the property.

Determining the market value of your home is necessary so that your lender knows the home is valued at or above the amount of money you are borrowing. An appraisal is an estimate of worth. It is an opinion but is not entirely a subjective process. The FNMA, Federal National Mortgage Association sets up the guidelines and assigns values to certain assets of your home to ensure a fair sale.

The value of your home will be determined by comparing it to similar area properties that have sold in the past few months. The appraiser looks for properties that have the same number of bedrooms, baths, square footage and amenities like a fireplace or garage in your neighborhood or town. They start by looking at your neighborhood to find comparable sales or properties in similar neighborhoods that share similar characteristics of lifestyles, income level of residents, surroundings, average age and home values. A valid appraisal can be done when 3 or more properties similar to your own have been found.
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