How Does a Home Appraisal Work?

How Does a Home Appraisal Work?

It’s not easy selling a house. There are many things to think about and do in order to get your home in the best possible shape to sell, from packing up your belongings and making repairs to staging the property and photographing it for potential buyers. In fact it’s so much work that you might just consider nixing the idea of a traditional sale and selling your California home the easy way through us here at Osborne Homes. We buy any home in any condition. We handle everything, pay all cash and close fast. Contact us to learn more.  

However, if you do go through a regular real estate transaction, one of the most important things you need to do is get the house appraised. A home appraisal will give you an idea of what your home is worth and can help you set a price that is fair for both you and the buyer. Keep in mind, though, that a house appraisal is just an estimate; it is not a guarantee of what your home will sell for. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – you’re not alone. This guide includes FAQs that will walk you through everything you need to know about the home appraisal process and also how to sell your California house quickly and without any stress.

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is an estimate of a property’s worth, typically given by a professional appraiser who is licensed to come in and conduct an inspection to assess true value. The appraisal can be used to help decide how much money to ask for when selling your home, or it can be used as part of the mortgage approval process. 

When an appraiser arrives at your house, it’s crucial that you give them the space to do their job. You might be tempted to point things out, like improvements you’ve made, but doing so is highly advised against. These appraisers know what they are doing. They do it every day and know exactly what to look for. Becoming their shadow only runs the risk of irritating them or, even worse, giving them too much information and revealing something that negatively affects the value you are about to receive. Just be polite and make yourself available if they need you to answer any questions at the end of their inspection.

Want to skip the home appraisal process altogether? Want to save on the fees required for an appraisal plus the additional fees for a realtor? Consider selling your home to Osborne Homes! We make the house buying process quick and painless. Sell your house for cash today

Is a home appraisal required in California?

Whenever financing the purchase of a home, the mortgage lender on the case will require a home appraisal before they issue the loan. They need to be sure that the property is worth the amount of the sales price. Requiring the appraisal protects both the buyer’s and the lender’s interests. 

Who orders home appraisals and why?

Mortgage lenders order the appraisals from their appraiser clients. The fee for the appraisal is included in the closing costs of the house sale. While some lenders order the appraisal directly from the appraiser, a lender will sometimes use an appraisal management company (AMC) to manage the appraisal process. In this instance, the AMC will be the one who orders the appraisal on behalf of the lender.

How much does a home appraisal cost in California? 

In California, home appraisals usually range between $300 and $500, on average. The actual cost that you pay will vary based on the type and size of the property, the location, and other factors.

What are the steps in the home appraisal process?

An appraisal is just one of the steps involved in selling a home the traditional way. It’s important to understand what’s involved so you know what to expect. Keep in mind that every situation is different, so contact your real estate agent if you have any questions about the appraisal process. Here are the steps in the appraisal process:

1. Initial contact – your mortgage lender likely has a list of vendors they use and will recommend one of two or three appraisers to come out to do the job.

2. Appraisal order – The appointment will get scheduled. You may or may not have time to do any last touch-ups to the place that might affect the resulting value.

3. Field inspection – the appraiser comes out and conducts a thorough inspection of your property, inside and out.

4. Research and analysis – after the appraiser leaves they will take the information they gathered on your property and do a little research on comparables in the area.

5. Report preparation – with that information they prepare a detailed report of their findings.

6. Delivery of the appraisal report – this is when you receive the report for your own review.

A lot is involved in the home appraisal process. It’s important to have a good understanding of this in order to make the process as smooth as possible for all parties involved. We wouldn’t fault you for wanting the quickest and most pain free method such as selling your house to Osborne Homes! At the end of the day, if you know you’ll need repairs done – the home appraisal process is just another cost to add. With Osborne Homes, you’ll never need to pay for a home appraisal or for any repairs. We’ll cover it all. Sell your house today! 

How long does the home appraisal process take from start to finish?

From initial contact through to the delivery of the finished appraisal report, the appraisal process takes approximately seven to 10 days. Add time onto that if you feel you need to dispute the valuation you receive for any reason. Or just give us a call here at Osborne to see how we can drastically cut the time on selling your home. After all, once you get to the appraisal process, you will have already spent time and money on getting your home ready to sell, having professional photography done, finding a buyer and negotiating, and now you still have a long road ahead. But not with Osborne. Just saying. Call us if this is all sounding like too much of a headache.

How is the value of a home determined during an appraisal process?

Homes that have sold recently in the same area as the property being appraised are called comparable sales or “comps.” These play a critical role in the home appraisal process. But what do home appraisers look for? The main factors that appraisers consider when determining the value of a home are: 

  1. Location – buyers are willing to pay more for a property that’s in a desirable area. 
  2. Square footage – an appraiser calculates square footage based on how much living space there is. Living space is defined as areas of the home that are heated such as the kitchen, living room, bathrooms and bedrooms.
  3. Number of bedrooms and bathrooms – Yes, different than just square footage, the more bedrooms and bathrooms you have to sell, the higher your property’s worth will be! 
  4. Overall condition and appearance – The condition of your home is also important – if it needs repairs or updates, that will lower its value.
  5. Amenities, features and additions – for example, amenities such as pools or spas can increase how much someone is willing to pay for your house.
  6. Curb Appeal – the condition of a home’s exterior is always seen as an indication of the condition of its interior.

A good appraisal takes all of these factors into account to provide an accurate estimate of a home’s worth. While an appraiser really does know what they’re doing it is still a good idea to look over your report when you get it to be sure all of this is taken into account.

What are some things that could affect the outcome of an appraisal report on a home’s value?

As a home seller, it’s important to know what could affect the outcome of an appraisal report on your home’s value. There are many factors during the home appraisal process that can cause a home value to come in lower than expected. Here below are the most common. Keep these things in mind when preparing for a home appraisal so you can ensure that the report reflects the true market value of your home.

-The appraiser might have made mistakes or miscalculated some numbers.

-There were structural problems with the home found that need to be fixed.

-There was a recent drop in the housing market, so your home is worth less than you thought.

-The neighborhood has seen an increase in crime rates.

-The house is too small or too large for the current market trends.

-The house is in a rural area and most buyers are looking for suburban neighborhoods.

-The house is in a poor location in relation to other homes or businesses.

As you can see, there are many factors that can affect the outcome of an appraisal report on a home’s value. It is important to remember that a professional appraiser will take all of these into account when conducting their evaluation. Obviously, you can’t do anything about the location of your home or the crime rate, but you might consider making some upgrades to the property before you have an appraiser out so you get the highest value possible. Remember to also consider selling your house for cash to cash house buyers if your situation qualifies 

Tips for ensuring that your home has maximum resale value

If you’re like most people, you want to get the most money possible when you sell your home. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your house has maximum resale value. 

First, make sure that your home is in good condition and is well-maintained. Take care of any repairs that need to be made, and make sure that the interior and exterior are both neatly presented. 

Secondly, price your home correctly. You don’t want to overprice it, but at the same time, you don’t want to undervalue it either.

Finally, market your home effectively. Spread the word about your listing through social media platforms and online listing services. Create a catchy listing description and take great photos of your property. 

With these tips in mind, you can maximize the value of your home when it comes time to sell it! If you’re in need of additional tips – reference our guide on how to sell your house without paying commission.

Can you dispute the findings of a home appraisal report if you don’t agree with the valuation amount?

If a seller goes through everything above to ensure that their home value is up to par with what they want for the property and is still unhappy with the findings of their home appraisal, they can dispute the appraised amount. Actually, this is not at all an uncommon happening so don’t be surprised if this happens to you! And if it does, here are the steps you would need to take to go through the dispute:

1. Review the appraisal report and identify any errors  – do they have the square footage wrong? Did they miss a major upgrade?

2. Gather evidence to support your case – however, you can prove the above, get your proof together and have it ready.

3. Write a letter disputing the findings of the appraisal report – you can get the address of where to send your dispute from the office your appraisal went through.

4. Submit your evidence and letter to the appraiser – now it’s a waiting and hoping game.

5. Await a response from the appraiser – you might hear from them in a week or 10.

6. If necessary, take legal action to dispute the findings of the appraisal report.

If you disagree with the findings of your appraisal report, it is important to act quickly. It will add more time onto getting your house sold but if it is important to you then just know that you may be able to dispute the appraisal if you can provide evidence that supports your case.

There are dozens of steps in selling a home and this is just the appraisal process! 

If this all sounds like too much effort and like it’s going to take way more time than you have, then you are the perfect candidate for our services here at Osborne Homes. We want to buy your home today, sight unseen, and hand you all cash for it. Sound too good to be true? That’s just the start of it. With us, there is no need to lift a finger. We handle everything and we don’t need you to make any repairs or upgrades to your place. We buy houses as is and we want to hear about what you have. The best part is we always pay a fair price and we close fast. To get started you would just need to fill out this form and one of our team members will be in touch with you.


A home is a burden if you can’t sell it. Our goal is to help you easily sell your home fast, for cash, and at a fair price. We’re committed to providing reputable home purchasing services that leave you feeling good about selling your home. And that gives you more cash—and more freedom. Call us today at 559-500-3610
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