What to Expect From a Home Appraisal

Whether considering putting your home on the market for sale, refinancing your mortgage since interest rates are super low, or just checking to see what your property is worth, it’s important to know what to expect from a home appraisal. Listed below is a general home appraisal timeline so you’ll know what should be done before the appraisal appointment and what to expect during and after. 


  • First, plan on the cost of the appraisal being your responsibility even if your lender requires it for a home equity loan or mortgage refinance. The price of an appraisal varies depending on the square footage, an unusual floorplan or numerous uniquely distinct features. 
  • All those little repairs you’ve been meaning to get around to fixing? Do it now before the appraiser shows up. They will be looking for signs that the property has been maintained and even small things like kitchen drawers that don’t close properly, leaking faucets, and torn window screens will be noted. 
  • Clean like the in-laws are coming for the holidays! Get rid of all the excess clutter and tackle those once a year chores, including ceiling fans and baseboards. Then do the same for the exterior. Wash the windows, power wash the siding (if applicable), the garage floor, sidewalks and driveway. 
  • Make sure your landscape and curb appeal is on point. Research from Virginia Tech has shown even small investments to your landscaping can increase your home’s overall value by more than 10 percent. Even giving your front door and shutters a fresh coat of paint will add value.


  • Tell the appraiser of any upgrades and improvements you’ve made to the home. Everything from an updated bathroom to new gutters and an outside deck will all help with that final appraisal figure. 
  • The appraiser will measure your home’s square footage, check tax records for when the home was constructed, and take photographs while conducting a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior. They will also explore the surrounding neighborhood for public amenities like parks, schools and shopping. Then after all the information for your property has been compiled, the appraiser will check for comparable for sale and just sold homes in your area to determine your home’s most realistic and true value. 


  • What happens if your home appraises for less than you anticipated? Depending on the reason for the appraisal, you may have the option to challenge the appraiser’s determination. This is especially valuable if the home has an unusual floorplan, if the appraiser missed or misread certain aspects of the home’s interior or exterior, or if comparable homes weren’t included. If the appraiser is firm in their original determination, one recourse is to include a formal rebuttal of value letter with the original appraisal. Or in some cases, again depending on circumstances, it may be to your advantage to pay for another valuation using a different appraiser. 

Considering listing your home and want to ensure you know in advance of any problems or concerns that may keep you from getting top dollar? Contact Carolina RES today to schedule a pre-listing appraisal. You can reach us at 864-242-1099, email us at info@carolinares.com, or fill out our secure online form by clicking here.