Appraisals 101

With fluctuations in the real estate market and changes to Lender requirements and qualifications, it is important to know what an Appraiser is looking for when viewing your home. When booking an appointment with the Appraiser, remember these top five items for the most accurate valuation of your home.

1) An Appraiser is required to view all rooms in your home

Since the Appraiser will make sure you are aware that all rooms need to be viewed, you’ll be able to prepare the occupants or tenants of the home. If no access is provided at the time of the inspection then a second visit may (most likely) be required by the Lender, and a fee will be charged for a second visit.

2) Interior and exterior photos are required by the lender

The Lender is looking for pictures of the kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms (some lenders require all rooms).  Exterior photos of the front and rear of the house, as well as a street and backyard photo will be taken as well. Any outbuildings and/or secondary suites will also be photographed. All occupants will need to authorize the photos to be taken for privacy reasons, so if an occupant refuses photo permission, a Lender may refuse to proceed with financing.

3)  A tidy house and yard will enhance the marketability of your home

It is important to have the house clean and tidy when the Appraiser visits. In today's lending market, many Lenders are very interested in the condition of a home. In some cases, Lenders may decline to lend on a property based on the condition observed in the photos. These days, more than ever, it’s very important to show the home in as good of light as possible.

4)  Floor plans/exterior measurements 

If no floor plan or design drawings are available then the Appraiser will measure the exterior of the home. It’s helpful to have the perimeter of the home accessible.

5)  Outbuildings/Acreages  

Most Lenders do not allow outbuildings such as detached cottages, barns, garages, workshops, rental units, etc. to be included in the valuation. Furthermore, on large sites Lenders typically only take the first five acres of the property. An Appraiser is not going to include any chattels such as detached manufactured homes (in addition to a residential home), or items such as appliances that are not built in.

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sherrywondgaSherry Wondga is an accredited member of the Appraisal Institute to Canada and received her CRA designation in April 2007.  Prior to receiving her CRA designation she worked as a Candidate Appraiser for four years. Sherry worked as a Residential Appraiser for the five years before joining our team at Lawrenson Walker in August 2012, and she currently holds a position on the Victoria Chapter executive for the Appraisal Institute of Canada.  Sherry has lived in Victoria most of her life and has a good knowledge of the Island.