- Appraisals provide an objective opinion of value, but it’s not an exact science so appraisals may differ.
- For buying and selling purposes, appraisals are usually based on market value — what the property could probably be sold for. Other types of value include insurance value, replacement value, and assessed value for property tax purposes.
- Appraised value is not a constant number. Changes in market conditions can dramatically alter appraised value.
- Appraised value doesn’t take into account special considerations, like the need to sell rapidly.
- Lenders usually use either the appraised value or the sale price, whichever is less, to determine the amount of the mortgage they will offer.
Used with permission from Kim Daugherty, Real Estate Checklists and Systems, www.realestatechecklists.com
- Get at least three written estimates.
- Check references. If possible, view earlier jobs the contractor completed.
- Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
- Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
- Make as small of a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
- Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
- Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also, remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
- Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved too.
- Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
- Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
- Guarantee that the materials that will be used meet your specifications.
- Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®
According to Zillow’s 2017, 10 Hottest Housing Markets list, Knoxville, Tennessee ranked #7. The list also revealed that Knoxville’s expected home value appreciation for 2017 will be 4.4 percent, projected income growth will be 1.1 percent and it will have a projected unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.
- Ensure there are no gaps in insulation or crawl spaces that expose pipes to cold air, which could put the pipes at risk of freezing and bursting.
- Have your heating system checked by a licensed technician before cold weather requires daily use.
- Block drafts around doors, windows and baseboards with weather stripping, window film and caulk to control heat loss.
- Install storm doors and windows to improve energy-efficiency and get rid of drafts.
- Have chimneys cleaned by an experienced chimney sweep to prevent the risk of a fire from buildup or blockages.
- Spray door locks with powdered-graphite lubricant to prevent freezing and sticking.
- Set ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to force rising warm air back towards the floor.
Unless the buyer who makes an offer on your home has the resources to qualify for a mortgage, you may not really have a sale. If possible, try to determine a buyer’s financial status before signing the contract. Ask the following:
- Has the buyer been prequalified or preapproved (even better) for a mortgage? Such buyers will be in a much better position to obtain a mortgage promptly.
- Does the buyer have enough money to make a downpayment and cover closing costs? Ideally, a buyer should have 20 percent of the home’s price as a downpayment and between 2 and 7 percent of the price to cover closing costs.
- Is the buyer’s income sufficient to afford your home? Ideally, buyers should spend no more than 28 percent of total income to cover PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).
- Does your buyer have good credit? Ask if he or she has reviewed and corrected a credit report.
- Does the buyer have too much debt? If a buyer owes a great deal on car payments, credit cards, etc., he or she may not qualify for a mortgage.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®