What Do Home Appraisers Look For?

Do you ever wonder, “What does an appraiser do?” Or, “What do they look for in a home appraisal?” So do many of our customers. 


In fact, we’re frequently asked, “Exactly what do home appraisers look at?”, and “Just what do appraisers look for?”


Visits from home appraisers are a critical aspect of selling your home. They operate independently, offering a valuation estimate on your property to satisfy lenders from a third-party perspective. Their opinions are based on the state of your property and the current market.


Although you’ll struggle to sway an appraiser’s decision, it’s worth knowing what appraisers look for in a property.

Home Appraisals: Understanding the Basics

Appraisals are put in place to protect buyers and lenders throughout the home buying process. Before finalizing a mortgage, lenders will request the buyer get the property appraised. Appraisals help guarantee that a home is worth the amount that a buyer wants to borrow from the bank.


The benefit of appraisals is that the buyer and the lender can receive an objective opinion about a property’s real value. Appraisers are licensed professionals that have no connections to the house sale. It’s their duty to be unbiased and independent.

What do appraisers do?

Appraisers will examine the physical condition of a property both internally and externally. They’ll also consider outside factors such as prices of other homes in the area and current market trends. 


What do home appraisers look for as they inspect?

When they examine the exterior and interior features of a home, appraisers will observe foundations, floors, walls, and any building materials. They are quick to note any general maintenance concerns such as leaky faucets or broken door handles. Attics and crawl spaces will also undergo rigorous inspections.

External Home Appraisal Factors

Now, let’s answer the question, “What does an appraiser look at outside of your property?”


A standard appraisal report examines external factors such as:


  • Percentage of current land use in your neighborhood (multi-family, commercial, one-unit housing, two-to four-unit housing)
  • Neighborhood characteristics (for example, suburban, urban, rural)
  • Lot size
  • Zoning classification
  • Car storage type and driveway surface (one-car garage, two-car garage, asphalt, gravel, paving)


An appraiser will also inspect the general upkeep of the outside of your property. Therefore, any maintenance and repair jobs must be up-to-date.

Internal Home Appraisal Factors

Are you wondering, “What do house appraisers look for inside a property?” 


At this stage, the appraiser will look at the condition, size, and structure of a building. This includes:


  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Whether or not there’s an attic, partial basement, or crawl space
  • The square footage of the building
  • The foundation type
  • Remodeled vs. updated bathrooms and kitchens
  • Materials used for windows, floors, and walls

They will also look out for infestation signs such as mice droppings or termite dirt throughout the property.


If you’ve requested a VA or FHA loan, appraisers will have to inspect certain safety features such as smoke detectors and handrails; additionally, some appraisers will consider how much light a property gets and how much internal noise pollution is present (for example, noisy AC units).

How Appraisals Work & How to Prepare for Them

Now that we’ve answered the question, “what does a home appraiser do?” let’s answer, “when does the home appraisal process occur?


The home appraisal process occurs after an offer has been accepted on a property. Typically, an inspector will have reviewed your home within seven days.


In other words, as soon as you and the buyer have negotiated a price, credits, and repairs, the lender will send an appraiser to assess your home’s fair market value.


Every property owner wants their building to have a significant market value. Appraisals take you one step closer to closing a sale. If you’re selling your property, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for an appraisal and boost the value of your home before an appraiser arrives:


  • Collect and organize any receipts related to home improvement projects.
  • Organize your belongings and declutter.
  • Take care of any essential repairs such as scuffed flooring or chipped paint.
  • Tidy up the garden and exterior of the property. This includes repairing damaged guttering, landscaping, and trimming back any invasive trees.
  • Cleaning the home thoroughly. Although cleanliness won’t necessarily impact the home’s value, it’s good practice to make the house as presentable as possible.

Are You Ready to Sell? 

We’ve answered the question, “What do home appraisers look for?” However, there is an option for making a quick sale on your home without the need for an appraisal. 


We pay cash for single- and multi-family townhouses, houses, or apartment properties “as is” in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. In just five minutes, we can make you a cash offer using our advanced buying tools.


For a free, no-obligation estimate, call (855) 931-4635 or fill out this form on our website today.