Many sellers think that the price of their home is determined solely by what they are willing to accept and what the buyer is willing to pay. However, there is one more variable that can affect the sale of a home assuming that a bank loan is involved -- the lender's appraisal.
To protect the interest of their investors, the buyer's mortgage lender hires a licensed appraiser to give an independent, objective opinion of what the property is worth. The appraiser compares the house with similar homes in the neighborhood that have recently sold. Square footage, amenities and the condition of the home are taken into account. Renovations and home improvements made by the seller usually add value to the home, while defects such as needed repairs or code violations decrease the property's value. The seller's real estate agent can provide the appraiser with up-to-date information about neighboring homes that have sold to support the seller's asking price.