ON REAL ESTATE: How to get the most from your appraisal

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So, everyone knows that it can be hard to sell a home. Buyers and sellers have to come to the right agreement, and everyone is happy right? After all, the market dictates the value through supply and demand — but this isn’t the whole picture. The bank has to be happy as well, and that means an appraisal.

When you’ve finally reached your agreement with the seller and it’s time to sign the paperwork, the bank will have to see if they’re willing to loan you the money based on the property. This is so that if you default on your loan, they can recoup their money. So, if you sign an agreement of sale at $300,000, but the bank only thinks it’s worth $200,000, then you’re not going to be loaned the money. The bank doesn’t see that they can get that money back out.

This is one of the reasons that cash is king in real estate. A cash buyer doesn’t need the bank to agree on the value of the home, the deal you strike is enough.

So, here are some tips to make sure that your home sells for the best value:

Ask for a local appraiser

As the buyer, you’re the one who is really paying for the appraiser, and a local appraiser will have a better idea of the value in your county. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Based on local taxes, school districts, and general location the prices can vary greatly. If the person appraising your home isn’t up to date on the location, it can be problematic.

Get your home pre-appraised

Now, if you ask any real estate agent, they’ll tell you the horror stories of appraisers. No two appraisers can agree on the value of a home. But, as a seller, a pre-appraisal will help you find the right price. Also, when you and your buyer work your way through the process and get to the final appraisal, having a pre-appraisal in hand will make it easier to get the right appraisal for your home.

If the appraiser shows up and you hand him the pre-appraisal sheet stating $300,000 he’ll have a lot harder time to say that your home isn’t in the proper range.

Meet the appraiser on site

For the introverts of the world, meeting the appraiser may be stressful, but it can help. When the appraiser is working through the price of the house, and misses a detail here or there, you can make sure that he makes the proper note of that. You can also share information about recent sales in the area to make sure that your appraisal is enough to approve your loan.

Fight it

Now if all else fails, you are allowed to disagree with the appraisal of your house. If you think that the appraisal failed to take into account certain features that will change the value of the house, feel free to let them know. It may be enough to change their opinion.

It’s never a fun process trying to sell your house, and the appraisal process may make it harder. Working with a real estate agent can help your chances of navigating the process unscathed. Whether you decide to go it alone or get a real estate agent, if you follow the steps I listed above, you’re in a great spot to get what you need.

Wayne Megill is the Principal of The Wayne Megill Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Brandywine Valley and the President of Megill Homes, Inc. For buyer or seller representation, or for more perspective on the local and national real estate market, please email Wayne@waynemegillteam.com and visit The Wayne Megill Team site at http://www.pahomesandrealestate.com

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