Before putting your home on the market you will need to get it appraised. Your home appraisal value is based on an array of factors. They each hold different weight when evaluating your home. The ultimate goal of a home appraisal is to place your home on the market fairly based on a comparable set of standards, and the surrounding area.
Here are 13 Factors That Influence Your Home Appraisal Value:
First, your home appraisal value is based on the location of the home. Different neighborhoods will increase the value of your home. Where your home is positioned in the neighborhood will also hold some weight. For example if you have a large lot in the back of the neighborhood it will be worth more than the corner lot parallel to the main road. The neighborhood’s value is based on multiple factors including its crime rate, how close it is to schools and hospitals, the neighboring school system’s rating and other surrounding amenities like beaches and parks.
2. Structural Construction Materials and Updates
Another factor that determines your home appraisal value is the construction materials used to build the foundation of your home. A house built more recently with modern materials, or updated to use modern materials will hold a higher value than a home that hasn’t been updated since it was originally built decades ago. Updating other materials like the roof, siding or windows will also add to your home appraisal value because they improve the overall efficiency and safety of the structure of the home.
3. Age of the Home
The age of your home will also be a factor in your home appraisal value. A newer home won’t necessarily always be appraised higher than an older home. There are advantages to having a new and old home. New homes that were built within the last 10 to 20 years are less likely to have major issues, so are lower risk to buy and this will therefore increase the home appraisal value. Older homes that are located in historic districts or have been maintained fabulously for decades will also have a high appraisal.
4. Design Style of the Home
Another area that will be evaluated to determine your home appraisal value is the overall design of the home. There are certain timeless home designs that will not affect the long term value of your home. However if you opt for trendy decor and overall finishes in your home it could be appraised at a lower value when it’s no longer in style. For example if your home was last updated in the 70s, and the finishes in the home reflect that, it may be appraised at a lower value because it does not appeal to all buyers.
5. Curb Appeal
The curb appeal and general landscaping of the home also impacts the home appraisal value. If your home lacks curb appeal it could lower the value of the home. On the other hand if your yard is filled with hard to care for plants and a hazardous dead tree this could also negatively affect your home appraisal value. It’s best to go with an easy to care for and clean landscape design to appeal to most buyers and increase your appraisal value.
6. Number of Bedrooms
The number of bedrooms your home has will also increase your home appraisal value. The home appraiser will compare your home to other homes in the area with the same number of bedrooms to make a value comparison.
7. Number of Bathrooms
The number of bathrooms in your home will also increase your home appraisal value. If you have 3 full bathrooms in your home for example, your home will be appraised higher than a home that has 1 and a half bathrooms.
8. Square Footage
Another area that’s evaluated to determine your home appraisal value is the overall square footage of the home. Once that number is determined, the appraiser will look at how that space is distributed throughout the home. How much of your square footage is useable and livable space? How many stories does your home have? These are all areas that will be taken into consideration when evaluating the square footage of your home.
9. Heat and Air
The type of heat and air your home has will also be a factor in your home appraisal value. Homes that have central air for example will be appraised higher than homes that require room by room air conditioning units. In addition, how your heat is fueled, whether by electric, gas or oil will also be taken into consideration. Any outdated systems will lower the appraisal value of your home.
10. Storage Space
Another area that’s considered is storage space. A home that has an ample amount of large closets, a useable basement and a large attic for storage will be appraised at a higher value. Many home buyers who are looking to upsize their home take into consideration how much storage space a home has, so this is also something that an appraiser will look at to determine value.
11. Garage Space
The size of the garage, or if the home has a garage at all, will also contribute to the home appraisal value. A home with a 3 car garage will be appraised higher than a home with a 1 car garage with comparable features. In general where a home buyer is able to park their cars will influence the appraisal value.
12. Recent Home Renovations
If the home has undergone large home renovations since the last time it was appraised, this will also contribute to the home appraisal value. Newly updated kitchens and bathrooms hold a lot of value in today’s market, so an appraiser will take these renovations into consideration when determining the value of your home. Before putting your home on the market, choosing high impact areas of your home to renovate could have large returns on the appraisal value of your home.
13. The Current Real Estate Market
Finally, the current real estate market has a large influence on how your home is appraised. Homes appraised during a “seller's-market”, or a market that’s saturated with a ton of buyers and not enough inventory to accommodate all of them, will be appraised higher. On the other hand your home appraisal value during a “buyer's-market”, or a market that’s saturated with a ton of homes and little buyers, will be appraised lower.
Understanding what factors are taken into consideration when determining your home appraisal value will help you get the most value and avoid overpricing your for sale home. Certain home updates, like adding central air to your home for example, could have a huge return when you go to sell your home in the future. Also strategically placing your home up for sale during a time when the market is hot with buyers will help you get more money for your home. What are some updates that you’ve made to your home that have had a huge return on your home appraisal value? Let us know below!
Free Download: Home Selling Preparation Checklist
The complete list of inside & outside updates for your home before you sell.
Download the Checklist »