Jeff's Blog


What You Need to Know About Home Appraisals

If you're a first time home buyer or seller, you may have questions about what a home appraisal is and what it can mean to your deal.

Appraisals are important because they determine if homes are 'worth' what the mortgage companies will give for loans. If an appraised home is valued at less than the contract price, the mortgage company will usually allow a loan for the lesser value. This can be stressful and frustrating for buyers and sellers, but it makes sense for mortgage companies who may be concerned about borrowers defaulting on loans.

Your local market conditions play a big role in your home's appraisal, so be prepared. If there are a lot of homes in your area being foreclosed on, you run the risk that they can be purchased for much less than your home, which will bring your value down as well. The reverse can also happen - if your home is valued at less than other homes in the area on the market, you may be able to find buyers quicker.

Appraisals are important but tricky because of how variable they can be depending on the local market conditions. Try not to get discouraged if your home's appraisal isn't what you expect, because as the market improves, so will your home's value.

Jeff Mateja is the CEO/REALTOR at Universal Properties at Keller Williams Realty in Portland, Maine, and founder of, a blog about everything Portland, Maine, and beyond. Jeff also offers two premier home search tools for Buyers via and If you would like further information on any blog topics, please e-mail Jeff Mateja.

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Comment balloon 9 commentsJeff Mateja • May 09 2012 05:48AM
What You Need to Know About Home Appraisals
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