The Ultimate Home Appraisal Checklist for Home Sellers

Homeowners list a house for sale in Boise, ID.

When you’re in the process of selling real estate in Idaho, you will need to pick an asking price that aligns with the fair market value of your home. That way, when the buyer seeks a real estate appraisal, the appraised value will align with your asking price. The home appraisal process in Idaho has many steps, which is why you’ll need to follow a home appraisal checklist.

Before the appraisal process, you may need to hire a home inspector and check if the home needs any repairs. Then, you may need to complete renovations and repairs once the home inspection concludes. Doing so may help you ensure a higher appraised value on your Idaho property.

Are you interested in learning more about the appraisal process and how to determine your property’s value? If so, keep reading the information below!

Home Appraisal Checklist

The home appraisal tends to begin after your realtor starts showings, a homebuyer makes an offer, and you accept that offer. The mortgage lender may order an appraisal on behalf of the buyer regardless of the type of loan. Yet, the home buyer is responsible for paying the appraisal cost. The standard single-family home appraisal price ranges from $300 to $450.

Yet, you may also consider getting appraisal before selling a house to ensure your asking price aligns with the real estate market value. The home appraisal checklist for homeowners like you includes:

  • Reviewing a comparative market analysis of comparable properties
  • Ensuring the structural condition of your home is strong
  • Improving the finer finishes of the house, such as fixing peeling paint or leaky faucets
  • Making any upgrades and repairs on the home to fix any damage
  • Complete more significant home improvements, such as replacing your garage door 
  • Enhancing the landscaping in the yard to boost curb appeal

What Does a Home Appraiser Look For?

A home appraiser looks at the interior and exterior of the house to determine his or her appraisal take. Furthermore, the home appraiser will consider the values of comparable homes in the neighborhood before making the final determination.

The appraiser may work with your real estate agent to review the comparative market analysis and previous appraisals. Then, the expert will develop an appraisal report that offers the predicted home’s value. 

The appraiser sends the report with its valuation to the home buyer and the mortgage loan lender. Below, we outline further details about what a home appraiser looks for.

Home Quality Checks

A home appraiser looks at the condition of your home. To determine the quality of the house, the appraiser searches for leaky faucets or leaks from ceilings. Peeling paint, cracks in the walls or other damage is also considered. Further, the appraiser considers the quality of the landscaping outdoors.

The home appraisal also depends on the square footage of the property and the number of bedrooms. If the house has a swimming pool, the expert looks at the condition of the pool. 

Roofing Appraisal

The roofing appraisal will also help determine the selling price of your property. The appraiser will look at the roofing materials and their quality. Further, the expert will check on any leaks from the roof and other potential damage.

The appraiser will also look into the timeline of the most recent roof replacements or roof repair work. Metal roofs tend to have the longest lifespan for roofs. The professional will also consider the roof conditions of similar properties.

Lighting and Electrical Appraisal

The appraiser will also focus on the lighting, electrical systems, and fireplaces in the home. In particular, the number of fireplaces is an important part of the appraisal process. The quality of lighting determines the home appraisal value, along with how well the rest of the electrical systems work. 

That involves checking that all light switches and outlets function appropriately. The appraisal also includes a plumbing inspection to ensure the water heater, faucets, toilets, and showers all work adequately. 

Basement Appraisal

The basement appraisal involves checking whether the basement is finished or unfinished. Further, the appraiser will look at the handrails and any potential damage. The closets in the basement should also have strong flooring and backing.

The air conditioning system may often have problems starting in the basement, so the appraiser will also look at the HVAC equipment. In particular, the foundation of the house starts in the basement, so a quality basement structure is essential. 

Structural Appraisal

The appraisal involves looking at the structural strength of the house as well as the home’s foundation. To determine the structural aspect of the home and its foundation, appraisers check out the quality of the roof and basements along with the doorways and windows. 

For instance, do the doors and windows open easily, or do they get stuck? Is the roof leaking? These are the issues that home appraisers consider to determine the structural factors of a house. 

Home Finishing Details

To determine an accurate sale price, your appraisal value will also depend on home finishing details. Homeowners should provide information about any new home finishing details, such as new granite countertops or refinished hardwood floors.

The appraiser will also check for new kitchen appliances or other equipment. For instance, a new HVAC system, brand-new oven, or the latest washer/dryer machine can all increase the appraisal value of your home. These professionals also look at the quality of a home’s swimming pool or sprinkler system. 

A real estate agent and a homeowner calculate appraisal costs Boise, ID.

How to Prepare for an Appraisal

When preparing for an appraisal, it is vital to complete key home improvement projects and potentially call pest removal services. For instance, if an appraiser finds termites or termite damage in the home, that can drastically reduce the value of the property. 

Before the lenders of borrowers send over appraisers, homeowners will need to follow the steps below to prepare for the appraisal. Your home appraisal checklist includes reviewing neighborhood comps and checking to see that the house structure remains strong. Also, the steps include completing finer finishes and renovating the home.

Review Your Neighborhood Comps

Check out the prices of similar homes in your neighborhood.  Pick houses that have a comparable square foot size. Looking through a comparative market analysis report will help form your expectations regarding the final home appraisal value. Generally, when working with real estate agents, you’ll have access to a neighborhood comps report.

Specifically, look at other homes sold within the last six months. The report will also provide information on the type of renovations other homeowners completed in your area to increase their asking prices. 

Make Sure Key Structural Influences are Strong

One of the first steps before selling a home may be completing a home pre-inspection. If a home inspector finds problems with the foundations and structure of the home, then you may need to hire a contractor. The contractor will need to repair the basement structure and the foundation of the house.

You may also need to replace the doors and windows in the home to ensure the structural influences of the home remain strong. 

Ensure You Have Finer Finishes Where Possible

Finer finishes for a home include ensuring all kitchen appliances and general residential systems work well and are up to code. That means checking the heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems to ensure they’re functioning appropriately and have no damage.

You will need to make sure these systems align with all safety protocols. Essentially, if a home inspector finds any problems, you’ll need to hire a repairman to fix possible issues. Further, you can also modernize your lighting fixtures with a new upgrade.

Repair Any Damages to the House

The real cost of selling a house comes with the fees for home repairs and renovations. Before a buyer brings in an appraiser, you will need to check for damaged parts of the home and repair any issues.

You don’t want to miss any minor repairs, as that can make your appraisal value drop significantly. Any damage that poses a safety concern is a major problem. As such, make sure that you replace any broken smoke alarms and fix wobbly steps on the staircase.

Make Renovations Where Applicable

Keep track of all records showcasing any renovations you’ve completed on the home since you purchased it. For example, if you finished the unfinished basement or remodeled the bathroom, you should provide that information to the home appraiser. 

If you replaced a water heater or an HVAC system, add those repairs to the list. Gather all work orders, invoices, and receipts for the appraiser.


During the home-selling process, you’ll need to follow the home appraisal checklist before picking an asking price for your property. That often includes completing key repairs and home improvement projects to boost the appraisal value.

However, if you would rather sell a house fast in Meridian without completing any repairs, you can sell your place in its as-is condition to cash home buyers in Idaho. Luckily, we buy houses Boise residents love, so give us a call today!


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