When you finally decide to sell your home, and a buyer makes an offer, the property will most likely go through an appraisal process. If you are new to this, ask me and I'll guide you through it if you have any doubts or questions you need to be answered. 

An appraisal is done by a licensed professional, and the cost of having one done varies with home locations. Some homeowners do have an appraisal done even when not selling the home. They do this if they bought the house as an investment and want to know whether its value is decreasing or increasing.  

The owner might want to refinance the home by lowering the mortgage or taking out a loan against the equity. When they come to such a decision, then an appraisal has to be done

Sometimes, the home owner sets a significantly low or high price for the home that doesn't reflect the home's actual value. You might underestimate or overestimate your home's features without even researching the market value because you live in the house. 

The appraiser knows what significant factors affect the home's price in the market. Factors such as location, upgrades done to the house, neighborhood, and any problems with the home. If the home requires repairs, it decreases in value. 

The appraiser knows what to look for in a home that affects the asking price. He also knows the laws concerning the appraisal process and the documents needed for appraisal that you have to sign as the homeowner. 

The size of the house will be measured to ensure that it matches the size you had indicated and the number of rooms in the house. The exterior and the interior walls will also be checked, and the condition of the doors, windows, and roof. 

They'll open the faucets, flush the toilets and check for any leakages in the house to measure the integrity of the plumbing system. Anything that increases or decreases the value of the home. 

Most appraisers take photos to back up their analysis of the property. If anything can be done to increase the value, they'll advise you on how to go about it. 

The best time to have an appraisal done is before you list it in the market. This gives you enough time to fix any issues with the house. Homeowners sometimes are upset with the appraisal report, but this protects you from selling a home with problems. The buyer might sue you in the future. 

Appraisals ensure you know the actual value of your home, so you don't oversell or undersell. It also ensures that the buyer does not overpay or underpay on the property.