How Much is Your Home Worth?

While there are many online tools that estimate the value of your home, the only accurate way to determine this answer is through a home appraisal. A home appraisal is when a licensed or certified professional compares the condition of your home to other recent sales of homes in the neighborhood and Hawaii market. A qualified Hawaii real estate appraiser can conduct the intricacies of the appraisal with ease and generate a detailed report that can be used for a variety of purposes.

However, since a home appraisal is not typically taught about in school, you may still have some questions. 

When do you need a home appraisal?

A home appraisal always occurs when buying or selling a home; a mortgage lender requires this appraisal in order to determine if the value of the home is more than the loan amount.

There are some other times when an appraiser may need to determine the value of your home:

  • Before selling your home, you may have a pre-listing appraisal to determine the market value of your home. This can assist you in determining a realistic asking price. Your real estate agent can also do a comparative market analysis to determine the price, but some sellers might want to have an appraiser do a more thorough appraisal to find a good price to sell.
  • Refinancing your home often requires a home appraisal as well. When you refinance, you replace your old mortgage with a new one for a better mortgage rate. This means the new lender will typically require an appraisal to ensure your house is worth how much they will loan you.
  • Home equity lines, or a second mortgage that allows you to borrow money on your home, also requires an appraisal. Once an appraiser tells you how much your home is worth, you will subtract the first mortgage to determine the amount you can borrow.
  • Other loans that require your home as a source of collateral may also require a home appraisal. Whether for a cash or business loan, the lender typically wants to ensure they can get their money back if you were to default on the payment of the loan.
  • Appealing tax assessments will also require a real estate appraiser to determine the value of your home. Property taxes are calculated based on the fair market value of your home, but if you think your tax bill is too high, you may be able to appeal the tax assessment with the use of an appraiser’s expertise.

Who are the home appraisers near me?

Home appraisers are located throughout Oahu and the other Hawaiian Islands to assist you in determining your home’s worth. Appraisers must be licensed or certified professionals. In Hawaii, there are four real estate appraiser license types:

  1. Certified General Appraiser
  2. Certified Residential Appraiser
  3. State Licensed Appraiser
  4. Real Estate Appraiser Trainee

The first three types are able to accomplish most needed appraisals for homes in Hawaii, and here are some of REAL’s top-rated “appraisers near me” in different Oahu neighborhoods:

  • Pearl City. Allan Inouye Appraisals. 748 Hoomalimali Street, Pearl City, Hawaii 96782
  • Kapolei. Aloha Appraisal, LLC. 91-1026 Kawaihuna Street, Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
  • Downtown Honolulu. Benedicktus & Associates Real Estate Appraisers. 745 Fort Street Mall #316, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
  • Kaimuki. S D S Appraisal. 4224 Waialae Avenue # 555, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
  • Hawaii Kai. Advanced Appraisal Services LLC. 6800 Kalaniana‘ole Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
  • Kaneohe. TSH Real Estate and Appraisal Services, LLC. 45-240 Hikiwale Place, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
  • Mililani. Aa Appraisal Services Hawaii, LLC. 95-925 Makaunulau Street, Mililani, Hawaii 96789

How much does it cost to do a home appraisal in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, an appraiser will typically charge between $300 and $425 for the home appraisal cost of a single-family home or condo. The generally quoted price is $350. A multi-family home might be around $500, and home with more square footage will cost more. The seller of the home typically pays for the appraisal at closing.

The type of loan, whether it is conventional, USDA, or VA, also will change the price. A VA loan appraisal will be around $600 in Hawaii and typically takes longer than the average appraisal to process – at seven to ten days.

How long does a home appraisal typically take?

The home visit part of the home appraisal, when the seller’s agent is usually present, can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. Once the home visit is finished, the paperwork can take a few more hours or days. The buyers will be given a full report of the home appraisal. After the home appraisal paperwork is completed, a conventional loan on a single-family home or condo will typically take three to seven days before the loan is funded and closing occurs.

What increases the value of your home appraisal?

Often major home repairs before closing will not necessarily add much value to your home. Here are the top tips to increase the value of your home appraisal:

Tidy up. Before your appraiser arrives at your front door, make sure it looks neat and tidy in the yard and inside. Take a few days to weed and clean up the yard. Remove dead plants. Fix missing shingles on the roof. On the inside of your home, make minor repairs like to leaky faucets, de-clutter, and add touch up paint – tasks that were hopefully accomplished before you listed your home.

Share major recent improvements. Collect receipts of major work recently accomplished and point them out to the appraiser. Did you install new granite countertops, a new roof, or a new lanai? Let the appraiser know about this.

What hurts a home appraisal?

Dirty dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch, a barking dog – these might all detract from the appraiser’s determination of its value. However, the home appraiser’s job is to look at the bones of your house, so make sure everything is in as good of condition as possible.

Also, your real estate agent should be present during the appraisal to make sure all of these documents are shown to the appraiser to make sure your home is valued as it should be:

  • Offer contract. Having a copy of the signed contract on hand during the appraisal can ensure the appraiser knows the range of the value needed to fund the loan.
  • Home specifications. Floor plans, surveys, deeds, and features of the property can assist the home appraisers in seeing everything they need to see.
  • Tax assessment from the city and county. The county tax assessment of the property serves as another point of data for the appraiser when determining the market value of your home.
  • Home improvement list. Make a sheet of all the upgrades, even DIY home improvements, you have done with the completion dates and costs.
  • Comps. One of the main ways the appraiser will determine the value of your home is by comparing your home’s features to recently sold properties in your neighborhood, or comparable properties, “comps.” What might really hurt the value of your appraisal if the appraiser pulls a bad comp; your real estate professional should be ready to explain why this home is not of comparable value to yours, and hopefully the appraiser can choose a different comp.

While your home may be worth a lot more than a number, a qualified appraiser can determine that number – your home’s market value – which will enable you to sell your home or qualify for other loan transactions.