How to Read a Residential Appraisal Report

How to Read a Residential Appraisal Report. Appraisers are bound by certain regulations and reporting criteria when evaluating what a home is worth. This information culminates in the appraisal report. Lenders, brokers and bankers are familiar with the terms and format, but to a homeowner it can be hard to understand. Locating just a few important parts of the report will tell you everything you need to know.

Scan page 1 for any errors of address, owner occupied or non-owner occupied information and home type such as condo or duplex. This page is mostly introductory in nature.

Go to page 2 and look at the subject property and comparables sections. You may find another page later on with a fourth and fifth comparable.

Look at the comparable specifics in comparison to your home. The appraiser is required to choose homes that have sold and listed within 6 months and within a certain distance.

Notice that the appraiser will apply value adjustments based on different attributes of your home. At the bottom of this page is the appraiser's opinion of market value. This is the figure that will be used by lenders and banks.

Read lightly over pages 3 and 4. They are disclosures and disclaimers required to be in the report and will tell you little about the specific appraised value of your home.

Review the photos of your home and the comparable homes. If you're not familiar with the addresses, this will show you what the homes look like that were chosen to determine how much your home is worth.

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