Colorado’s real estate market is one of the hottest in the country. Over the past decade, thousands of Americans have set their sights west to the Front Range. The population explosion lead to high home prices, low inventory, and several questions about how the real estate market works.
One of the most common question for buyers and sellers is “How do Home Appraisers Determine the Value of a Home?” – especially in a hot market like Colorado. Let’s learn more about home appraisals and how professionals make the call.

What do Home Appraisers Look For?

  • Condition – Of course, a primary concern is the overall condition of the home. Has it been well-maintained, or is everything falling apart?

  • Home and Lot Size – No surprises here, the bigger the home and lot size, the higher the appraisal.

  • Curb Appeal – Is the front yard decorated nicely with plants? Does the front door’s paint look good? Curb appeal matters when selling your home and matters for home appraisals too.

  • Bed/Bath – Prospective buyers like to peek in the bathrooms, kitchen, and bedrooms more than other areas. A well-maintained kitchen or updated bath can significantly raise your appraisal

  • Finish Details – Does the backyard have a patio? Is there wainscoting in the house? Small but cute details can increase home appraisal value.

  • Irrigation – Colorado is semi-arid, so irrigation is vital to keep plants green and lawns lush. An irrigation system can do wonders for the value of a home.

  • Comparables – Home appraisers will compare the home and its amenities to other nearby homes to help establish a base price.

How Much Does a Home Appraisal Cost?

  • Appraisal Fee – The appraisal fee covers the professional appraiser and their report. According to homeowner resource, Angie’s List home appraisal fees average around $300-$500 for a single-family home.

  • Size – Larger homes take longer to inspect and appraise. For four bedrooms and up expect appraisal fees around $500.

  • Remote Locations – Gas and time aren’t free. Homeowners with more remote properties can expect to pay higher than average costs for home appraisals.

  • Buyer Typically Pays – Good news home sellers, the buyer normally pays home appraisal cost though this usually is negotiable.

How Long Does a Home Appraisal Take?

  • Size of Home – The larger the home, the longer a home appraisal takes – there’s more house to inspect.

  • Time of Day – Home appraisals typically include pictures for future listings. Because the home needs to be photographed with the right light for the best pictures home appraisals may start early or last through the afternoon.

How Do You Increase Home Value for Appraisal?

  • Condition – What is the condition of your siding? How about your kitchen floor? One of the quickest ways to increase your Colorado home’s value for an appraisal is by replacing or repairing items in poor condition. Spending just a few hundred dollars to replace some worn-out bathroom tile could increase your home value by the thousands.

  • Curb Appeal – Though it’s largely surface work increasing your curb appeal can do amazing things to your home appraisal. Take one day to paint your front door, put some flowers near your entryways, mow your grass, and take care of any other small issues near the front of your home. The benefits of curb appeal cannot be overstated and can add serious bucks to your appraisal.

  • Finishes – Professional home appraisers are detailed and will consider the value of many finishes and details toward your home value, so work on finishes where you can. Replace your builder-grade light fixtures with something more modern, update the hardware on your sink, or add some molding to a drab living room. A few finishing touches are an excellent way to beef up your home’s value.

  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Because Colorado is a cold-weather state and prone to wildfires, proper alarms are important to potential buyers. Install a few alarms to increase the security and value of your home.

  • Age of Appliances and Furniture – New appliances catch the eye with their shiny new look and efficiency. Consider replacing old or worn-down appliances like dishwashers or furnaces for a dramatic surge in home value.

How Long is an Appraisal Good For?

Appraisals don’t have an expiration period but the closer to the home sale the better. Most lenders and buyers won’t accept a home appraisal that’s more than six months old. Some government-backed mortgages may toss an appraisal in as little as three months.

Get Your Home Appraised

A professional home appraisal will be required for any financed home purchase. A home valuation by a real estate professional evaluates your home before putting it on the market for buyers. Many factors go into a home appraisal and many ways to quickly jump your value before selling in the hot Colorado market. If you’re ready to get your home on the market, talk to a The Meissner Group for a professioinal home valuation today.