Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated October 2, 2020)
When should I get an appraisal? This is probably one of the more common questions that homeowners ask themselves. There are several schools of thought as to when you should get an appraisal, and in all honesty the debate is going to be raging for years to come. However, there are some instances where, in my opinion, you should always get a professional appraisal.
One of the times that you should always get an appraisal is right before you have any major home remodeling accomplished. The reason for this is the results that you get can help you in being able to obtain any extra financing that you might be looking to get for the remodeling job. As an added bonus, if you happen to hire a contractor and he messes up on the job, this document can be used to help show the damage that was caused if you end up in court. On the flip side, you should also get another one done upon the completion of any major home renovations.
Another of the times that you should obtain an appraisal is any time you purchase a home. If you are purchasing a new home, then having an appraisal done can help you out later on if you have any problems with the company that built the home. When you are purchasing a home from the present owner, an appraisal can also help you know what the true value of the home is and whether the asking price is a valid one or not. An appraisal can also allow you to know if there are any serious problems with the home that need to be addressed prior to the closing of the sale. My sister-in-law only found out about some electrical work that was not up to code on her new house by having an appraisal done prior to the closing of the sale. (One would have thought the home inspector should have caught the problem, but it was actually, in this case, the appraiser.)
Finally, you should also obtain a full appraisal if you are selling your house. If you have had one done within six months of putting your house on the market, many realtors and banks are going to look at that document as gospel. While it is true that many skittish home buyers may still demand that a new appraisal be done, the fact that you have already had one done recently is going to go a long way to proving that you have nothing to hide when it comes to your home's value.
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