Are you thinking about selling your Crested Butte Home? Or are you just wondering what the value of your home is? Having an appraisal complete on your home will determine what the expert “market value” of your home is. An appraisal is an opinion of the value of the property and is conducted by a licensed appraiser. Having an appraisal complete on your home can make or break a deal. Let me explain to you the process of getting an appraisal complete on your home when it comes to selling your home.
Who is the Appraisal For?
Generally, the appraisal is for the buyer and potentially the buyer’s lender. The idea is that an unbiased third party can give you the ‘market value’ or price of a home. This is important for the buyer, to make sure your asking price is reasonable given the market. It is equally important to the lender, for very similar reasons. I explain why the appraisal matters to the lender in more depth a little further down. But an appraisal is also of value to you as a seller. It can be confirmation of what your real estate agent has already told you about the value of your home. Or if you’re very unsure of what your home is worth, it can give you a good starting point. There are a few other reasons why an appraisal will need to be complete:
- Refinancing a mortgage
- Estate planning
- Estate settlement
- Tax assessment review
- Tax advice
- Dispute resolution
Why Did the Lender Require an Appraisal?
It might be frustrating when you think you are close to selling your home and then another step is added into the process by the buyer. You might be wondering why the lender has required an appraisal to be completed. They want to make sure that the buyers are not overpaying or, more importantly for the lender, that they are not overborrowing for the home. This will be considered collateral for the lender.
If the borrower were to default on the loan and the bank takes the property back they want to get it off their book and sell it without a loan. Then the bank can take the property back and want to sell the home without taking a huge loss. If the appraisal comes back and is above purchase price then this is excellent news! Then the bank feels secure that the home is strong collateral and things will continue to move along. If the appraisal comes back below the buyer’s price, this is bad as the lender will not lend over a certain percentage of the appraised value.
Crested Butte And What An Appraisal Means For You – Process Of An Appraisal?
The appraiser will visit the home to verify the acreage of the parcel, they will also measure the square footage of the home. They will comment on the quality of construction, the number of bedrooms, and bathrooms your home has to offer. They also will be looking at the heating and cooling system, and note any damage to the home. The appraiser uses comparable home sales to show that recent sales of a home of a similar size and character that carry the same value.
They typically pick 3 to 5 homes that are considered comparable homes or also called “comps”. These comps can be from any given subdivision close to your surrounding area. Once the appraiser has viewed everything they need to see from your home and found the comps to compare it to they will complete the appraisal. The next step will be for them to write a narrative summary of your home. This will have supporting documentation, photographs, and comps. The appraisal is then available to you, the buyer, and the lender, if applicable.
Calculating Square Footage in the Appraisal
A finished basement can affect value positively, but a finished basement or walkout basement will not be included in the appraiser’s calculation of livable square footage because it is “below-grade” per Fannie Mae and ANSI guidelines. Below-grade here means below ground level by one foot or more, even if three sides of the basement have exterior walls and only one side is below-grade. Your real estate agent will record the total living square footage of the home and this will be represented in the MLS. There will probably be a field specifically for the below-grade or basement finished square footage as well.
It should be noted that in Crested Butte there are many homes built on the side of a slope, and many homes with very nice basements that have bedrooms with egress windows, exterior doors, etc. An appraiser in Crested Butte knows this and knows that many of the comps are similar, and will take this into consideration. Sometimes a lender will hire an appraiser from the big city who does not know the local Crested Butte market, and this can be problematic.
Updating the Square Footage – Many homeowners I meet with about selling their home have incorrect square footage represented in the Gunnison County Assessor’s site. There may have been an addition added to the home or the finished home does not match the architect’s plans… Appraisers can come measure the living space in the home for a small fee. This is valuable to ensure the maximum square footage is represented, plus the seller and the real estate agent are required to sign a Square Footage Disclosure to the Buyer. The disclosure asks for source of the measurement – Prior appraisal, Building plans, Assessor’s office, or Other.
Crested Butte And What An Appraisal Means For You- How To Prepare For An Appraisal
Since having an appraisal is important to the success of a home sale knowing how to prepare your home for an appraisal is important. I suggest you should clean like you would for a showing. I would also recommend making any repairs such as leaking faucets, damage to windows, and any missing electrical plates. It’s also important to address any health and safety concerns. This means carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke detectors. It is also a good idea to have a list of any repairs, and updates that have been completed on your home. They are interested in knowing if your home has a new roof, windows, or any upgraded HVAC.
What If Your Appraisal Is Low?
If the appraisal on your home comes back at a lower amount than you expected, you might start to wonder what this means for you and the sale of your home. The buyer now has the option of terminating the purchase contract. The buyer could feel they are overpaying for the home and this could cause the deal to fall through. Is there a chance the appraiser didn’t evaluate the home correctly? You can ask the bank to accept a second appraisal, or another option is the buyer can find a new lender who could hire a new appraiser.
All of this takes time and can add a lot of time and frustration to the process. The buyer might try to ask you to lower the price of the home to meet the appraised value. Depending on the gap in the amount you might agree to this. Or you might hold firm and tell the buyer to put more cash into the deal so they don’t need to take out as much from the lender. If the amount is small, you and the buyer can definitely work out a solution so you can make this transaction happen for both of you! Your real estate agent will guide you through this process and all the negotiations if this were to occur.
Final Thoughts How Can I Help?
If you have any additional questions regarding having an appraisal completed on your Crested Butte home please feel free to reach out and ask!
I hope you see the level of detail and time and effort I put into this article. This is representative of what you can expect from me as your agent. I have become a top real estate agent in Crested Butte by helping my clients and providing them with information. If you’d like more information on what you can do in Crested Butte this summer, don’t hesitate to contact me! We can even go sit on a bench and grab a cup of coffee.
I have over 30 years of sales and marketing experience and am a top real estate agent in the mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado representing affluent clients who are buying and selling their homes and properties.
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Global Luxury Property Specialist
Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties