If there’s one thing that can put a stop to the sale of your home, it’s the VA appraisal. In fact, it’s any appraisal. If there are issues with your home that cause the value to be lower than the sales price, no lender will provide financing.
Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to avoid any appraisal issues. Keep reading to find out what you can do.
Inspect the Home’s Exterior
A quick walk around the exterior of your home will give you a good inclination if the home will pass the appraisal. One big factor the home must meet is ‘soundness.’ If the appraiser sees that the siding is missing or otherwise damaged, the soundness of the home decreases.
It makessense if you think about it. Missing siding means the home isn’t protected from the elements of the weather. This could mean damage from water, the sun, or even pests. While a small crack in the siding may not be an issue, anything bigger should be fixed.
Another big factor that appraisers pick up on quickly is broken gutters. Again, it has to do with water. If the gutters aren’t working properly, water can pool in areas and cause serious issues with the home. Believe it or not, standing water can even cause a roof to collapse if the weight gets heavy enough. Gutters play an important role in a home’s soundness. Without them, the home could suffer many issues and not pass the appraisal.
If you notice either of these issues, you’ll want to invest in getting them fixed. Unless the entire house’s siding is damaged, you won’t have to reside the entire house. Instead, you can have just the damaged areas fixed. The same is true for the gutters. Have the missing or damaged gutters replaced so that you can pass the appraisal.
Check the Windows
Broken windows, windows with broken seals, or windows that won’t open are all safety issues. This is another one of the big factors a VA appraiser looks for. They only want veterans to purchase homes that are safe for them to live in.
A quick walk through your home, opening and closing every window in the home is all that it takes. If you notice a window has an issue, it pays to have it repaired before the appraisal. Even just one broken or inoperable window can throw your appraisal out the window.
Make Sure There Is Access
Appraisers need easy access to every part of the home. This may be as simple as picking up the clutter in the home. But, areas you want to pay close attention to include:
- Front and rear entrances
- Basement access
- Attic access
- Crawl space access
- Garage access
Make sure all doors in these areas are free from debris and function well. If a door is stuck and the appraiser can’t gain access to an area of your home, he can either say the home doesn’t pass the VA requirements or require a re-inspection after you fix the issue.
Exposed wires in any area of the home can pose a serious safety risk. Take a quick walk through every room and look closely at the wires. Are they capped? Do they have outlets? These are easy fixes that can help you pass the appraisal. If there are exposed wires and you aren’t sure how to fix it, call an electrician to come out and fix it.
Take a moment to look up in each room. Sometimes water stains are on ceilings and you don’t even know it because how often do you look up? Water stains could signify serious issues including the leaking faucet or drain. It could also signify mold or mildew growth in areas of the home, depending on how long the water has been there.
If you notice any water stains, try to find the source. If you are worried about mold growth, call a professional. They can remove the mold effectively, but you want to do this before the appraisal. If the appraiser notices mold growth, it could be the nail in the coffin on the appraisal.
Working HVAC Systems and Other Appliances
The appraiser will need to try every system in the house, including heating and cooling. If you don’t have working utilities in the home, it won’t pass the appraisal. At the very least, the home must have a working furnace as well as a hot water heater and a stove.
Make sure that the water and power are on in the home too. This is the only way the appraiser can make sure everything in the home is properly working.
The appraiser’s job is to make sure the home is safe, sound, and sanitary. Using the above tips, you can look at your home like an appraiser. Even little things like a minor leaking faucet may not seem like a big deal to you, but it can be the deal breaker with the VA.
The VA only hires qualified appraisers that understand the VA’s rules. They will follow them very closely to make sure the home is worth the VA’s guarantee. It works in your benefit to make the minor repairs and/or have professional inspections before you put your home on the market to ensure that it will pass the VA appraisal.