What Do Home Appraisers Consider When Determining Home Value?

A beautifully maintained house ready for appraisal

When buying, selling, or refinancing a home, a home appraisal is a crucial part of the process. Whether you’re the buyer, seller, or looking to refinance, understanding how home appraisers determine a home’s value is essential.

An appraiser showing clients around the interior of a house

Understanding Home Appraisals

A home appraisal is a professional and unbiased report of a home’s market value. These appraisals are vital for mortgage financing because the home serves as collateral for the loan. Lenders won’t approve financing without an appraisal to ensure the loan amount aligns with the home’s worth. For buyers and sellers, appraisals confirm the sale price is fair. For refinancing, appraisals ensure that the lender isn’t lending more than the home’s value.

A home appraiser inspecting a faucet

Key Factors Appraisers Examine

Inside the Home

  • Room Verification: Measure and photograph each room to verify the number of rooms and bathrooms match the property description.
  • System Checks: Assess the condition of plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC, and built-in appliances.
  • Health and Safety: Look for pests, termites, and in older homes, peeling paint to comply with lead-based paint regulations.
  • Interior Appearance: Check the condition of light fixtures, appliances, faucets, doors, windows, and flooring. Note if the interior appears dated.

Outside the Home

  • Roof and Foundation: Inspect for visible defects, missing shingles, cracks, crumbling, or water damage.
  • Chimney: Assess the structural integrity of the chimney.
  • Land and Driveway: Measure the total land area and evaluate the condition of the driveway.
  • Curb Appeal: Consider the overall look of the exterior and landscaping.

Additional Considerations

  • Location: Evaluate factors affecting value, such as proximity to amenities.
  • Luxury Features: Note features like outdoor kitchens, spa bathrooms, or heated flooring.
  • Exclusions: Ignore movable features (e.g., light fixtures, home décor) and high-maintenance features (e.g., in-ground pools) as they don’t impact value. Normal wear and tear or a lived-in look won’t lower the home’s value.
A home appraiser discussing appraisal details with her clients

Tips for Preparing Your Home for an Appraisal

To ensure a smooth appraisal process, homeowners can take several steps:

  • List Improvements: Provide the appraiser with a list of home improvements, such as kitchen or bathroom updates.
  • Comparable Listings: Share a list of similar local homes.
  • Ensure Accessibility: Make sure all areas, including closets, garages, basements, and crawl spaces, are accessible.
  • Make Minor Repairs: Fix small issues like broken faucets or doorknobs to potentially increase your home’s value.
  • Clean Thoroughly: Deep clean both the interior and exterior to positively influence the appraiser’s report.


What is a home appraisal?
A home appraisal is a professional report that determines a home’s market value. It’s essential for mortgage financing.

What do appraisers look for inside the home?
They check room verification, system conditions (plumbing, electrical, HVAC), health and safety concerns, and the overall interior appearance.

What do appraisers look for outside the home?
They inspect the roof, foundation, chimney, land area, driveway condition, and curb appeal.

How can I prepare my home for an appraisal?
List improvements, provide comparable listings, ensure accessibility, make minor repairs, and clean thoroughly.

Do movable features affect home value?
No, movable features like light fixtures and home décor don’t impact the appraisal value.

Understanding what home appraisers look for can help you better prepare and potentially increase your home’s value. By focusing on key areas and addressing any issues, you can ensure a smooth appraisal process, whether buying, selling, or refinancing your home. For a professional and reliable home appraisal, contact Block Appraisals to get started. We can provide the expertise you need to navigate the appraisal process with confidence.

A professional appraiser in his office

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