Steve Smith | Groton Real Estate, Dunstable Real Estate, Westford Real Estate, Nashua Real Estate


Home appraisals are an important part of the buying and selling process. Lenders use appraisals to make sure that the home is worth what the borrower is paying. A home’s appraisal value is based on a number of factors, all of which we’ll discuss in this post.

Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or are just learning about the process of buying a home so you’ll be better equipped in the future, this article is for you.

How is a home appraisal different from an inspection?

While home appraisals and inspections are performed by licensed or certified professionals, they have to different functions. An inspection ensures the safety of a home, as well as whether or not it will need repairs in the immediate or near future.

Appraisals, on the other hand, aim to value a home based on its property value, the size of the property, and the location of the property. The condition of the home is a factor in valuing a home, which is why some people confused appraisals with inspections.

Who pays for appraisals?

Like most closing costs, a home appraisal is a burden that falls on the buyer. Typically, the lender you choose will work with will actually order the appraisal. The cost, which usually amounts to a few hundred dollars, can be added to your closing fees. You can find the cost for an appraisal listed on the Closing Disclosure document provided by your chosen lender.

Which factors determine the home’s value?

To appraise the house itself, appraisers will look at the condition of the home. They’ll also weigh the features of the home in their valuation--things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, for example.

However, the two key characteristics of a home that contribute to its value are its age and size.

Which external factors contribute to the home’s value?

As you might suspect, the location of your home matters greatly when it comes to appraisals. Homes are appraised based off of average prices for their neighborhood and region.

Other location factors include how accessible the home is, if it’s located on a waterfront, and whether it has desirable views.

When does a home get appraised?

While your experience may vary based on your specific circumstances, most appraisals occur after a buyer has signed a purchase contract. One this is done, the lender will take the steps necessary to order and process the appraisal.

How long is the home appraisal process?

Once the buyer has signed a purchase contract, the appraisal is usually completed and processed within 7 days. The appraisal report will be sent to the lender. This report contains the appraised value of the home. Buyers are entitled to a copy of this report, and should keep one for their own records.


Buying a home can be fast and easy for just about anyone. However, becoming the "perfect" property buyer can be challenging, particularly for those who are shopping for a house for the first time.

The perfect homebuyer understands what it takes to land his or her ideal house at the best price. As such, he or she will know how to handle difficult homebuying situations and streamline the process of going from property buyer to property owner.

Ultimately, becoming the perfect homebuyer may be easier than you think – here are three tips to help you acquire your ideal residence quickly and effortlessly.

1. Study the Real Estate Market Closely

The real estate market has many ups and downs, but the perfect homebuyer will know the ins and outs of the housing sector. By studying the real estate market closely, this property buyer will be able to identify the right opportunities and overcome any potential homebuying hurdles.

Spend some time looking at the prices of homes that are currently available. This will allow you to find homes at price that you like – and homes at prices that you don't like – and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

Also, take a look at homes that recently sold in cities or towns where you'd like to live. This will enable you to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.

2. Know What You Can Spend on a Home

The perfect homebuyer should have no trouble avoiding the temptation to overspend on a house. In fact, this homebuyer will understand how to get pre-approved for a mortgage, which will ensure that he or she can establish a property buying budget.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions. Each meeting will enable a homebuyer to learn about the mortgage options that are available from a variety of lenders. Plus, a homebuyer can ask questions and discuss myriad mortgage options with these lenders.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will be able to enter the housing market with a budget in hand. Then, this property buyer can narrow his or her search for the ideal residence.

3. Collaborate with a Housing Market Professional

Becoming the perfect homebuyer may require you to receive housing market guidance at times. Fortunately, if you work with a real estate agent, you can get top-notch support as you navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is a housing market professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you. He or she will be able to provide homebuying recommendations to help you make informed decisions. Also, a real estate agent will be able to keep you up to date about new houses as they become available, guaranteeing that you can speed up the homebuying process.

When it comes to buying a home, it is essential to do whatever it takes to acquire a first-rate residence at a budget-friendly price. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to doing just that.


As a homebuyer, you likely will want to do everything possible to secure your dream house at a budget-friendly price. Yet for those who are dealing with an aggressive property seller, achieving the optimal results may prove to be challenging.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you simplify the homebuying process so you can acquire your ideal residence at an affordable price – even if you're forced to deal with an aggressive home seller.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you deal with an aggressive property seller and accomplish your desired homebuying results.

1. Remain Patient

It may be tough to deal with an aggressive home seller at times, but those who stay the course can buy a house that matches or exceeds their expectations.

Remember, a patient homebuyer generally is a happy homebuyer. If a buyer avoids rash decisions and remains calm, cool and collected when dealing with an aggressive seller, he or she can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible choices throughout the property buying journey.

2. Focused on Your Desired Results

The ultimate goal of the homebuying journey is to find and buy a house that you can enjoy for years to come. In some instances, an aggressive seller may make it difficult for you to accomplish your goal. But if you prioritize the end results of the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than others to secure a terrific residence.

If you focus on the big picture, you may be able to reduce the risk that minor issues with an aggressive home seller could slow down the property buying journey. And if you do whatever it takes to achieve your desired homebuying results, you may be able to find unique solutions to various problems.

Don't forget to maintain open communication with a seller. If you open the lines of communication with a seller, both you and a seller can work together to ensure all parties are satisfied with the results of a home sale.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you're uncertain about how to deal with an aggressive seller, you may want to hire a real estate agent. That way, you'll have an expert negotiator at your disposal.

A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller and his or her agent on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent will minimize the risk of potential property buying delays.

Let's not forget about the frequent updates that a real estate agent provides during a negotiation with a property seller, either. A real estate agent will keep you informed about seller negotiations and ensure you can move along the homebuying cycle. And if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them at your convenience.

Manage the homebuying journey like never before – use the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid the headaches commonly associated with dealing with an aggressive property seller.


Requesting a home showing usually is a great idea if you find a residence you may want to buy. In addition, there are many things you can do to get the most out of any house showing, at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you attend a home showing and determine if a particular residence is right for you.

1. Analyze All Areas of a Home

A home showing enables you to get an up-close look at all areas of a residence. Thus, you should examine each room in a house during a showing so you can envision what life may be like if you acquire this residence.

Don't forget to walk around outside a house, too. By doing so, you can evaluate a home's yard and other outdoor amenities, as well as the condition of a house's roof and siding.

2. Don't Hurry

There is no need to feel rushed during a house showing. Instead, take as much time as you need to walk around a house and perform a full property evaluation.

If you find you still want to know more about a home after a showing, don't stress, either. You can always request a second home showing to further evaluate a residence at your convenience.

3. Ask Questions

A home showing provides an unprecedented learning opportunity. As such, you may want to ask questions as you walk around a house so you can receive instant home insights from a seller's agent.

Furthermore, it is crucial to remember that there is no such thing as a "bad" question. If you are unsure about whether a house suits you perfectly, ask questions about the residence. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home or continue your house search.

As you get set to embark on the homebuying journey, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you prepare for a house showing, along with provide insights into the homebuying journey that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

If you view a house with a real estate agent, for example, you can follow up with this housing market professional after the showing. Next, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of a residence. And if you decide you have found your dream home, a real estate agent can help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

For homebuyers who are on the fence about whether to request a house showing, you may want to consult with a real estate agent right away. With a real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to streamline the homebuying journey. As a result, you can work with a real estate agent to find and acquire your dream residence without delay.


Obtaining a home loan is a must for most homebuyers. However, assessing a wide range of home loan options and making the best-possible decision can be difficult, particularly for a buyer who is evaluating these options for the first time.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you perform a deep analysis of home loan options and make an informed decision.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate different home loan options.

1. Find Out How a Home Loan Works

The home loans that one lender offers may differ from the options provided by another lender. As such, you'll want to learn the ins and outs of each available home loan to guide your decision-making process.

Understanding how a home loan works may make it easy for you to discover your dream house too.

For example, if you get pre-approved for a home loan, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. You then can use this amount to narrow your house search, which may lead to a fast, seamless homebuying experience.

2. Understand All of the Costs

The total amount that you pay each month under the terms of a home loan agreement may vary based on a variety of factors. Fortunately, if you understand all of the costs associated with a home loan, you may be able to find a loan that matches your finances.

Review all of the paperwork associated with a home loan as well. That way, you can find out the length of a home loan agreement and other relevant home loan information and proceed accordingly.

3. Get Expert Home Loan Insights

There is no such thing as "bad" questions about home loans. And if you're uncertain about how to proceed with a home loan, you can always receive expert guidance from a lender.

Oftentimes, lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable home loan specialists who can respond to your concerns and questions. If you meet with these specialists, you can get comprehensive home loan insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

As you get ready to pursue a home loan, you also may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you get in touch with the best lenders in your area and secure a home loan in no time at all.

Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either.

A real estate agent will serve as your guide to buying a house. He or she will help you hone your home search, explore top-notch residences in your city or town and find a residence that matches your expectations. Plus, a real estate agent will even negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on your dream house.

Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can secure a home loan and take the next step toward purchasing your ideal residence.




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