A common question that appraisers get asked while performing an assignment is “How much does [fill in the blank] add to my home’s value?” Those items range anywhere from the spectacular skyline view all the way down to a ceiling fan. It is impossible for any appraiser to answer that question directly, because most items do not have a specific dollar amount that can be attributed to direct value increase. Rather, values vary depending upon the house, neighborhood, competing sales, etc. The appraiser’s refusal or inability to answer the question should not be seen as reflective of his lack of kindness or intelligence.
When I am asked how much an item adds to the overall value of a home, I answer as honestly as I can, “I don’t know.” In fairness, I typically go into more detail than that and explain, “Most items in a home are not detailed out or specified on the appraisal report. However, all observable items, upgrades, amenities, conditions, etc. are considered. Most of the time if an item is not listed out, it is included in the final value as a contributor to the overall quality, condition, or type of house. In other words, you may not see ‘granite countertops’ on the report, but you better believe the appraiser considered it in his comparable sale selection (or adjusted if the market warranted such). As another example, specific details of your landscaping may not be listed on the report, but if landscaping makes a difference in value, the appraiser will pick sales with similar landscaping, or adjust for the differences.”
Our office sometimes gets calls from home owners wondering why a certain item was missed. It is likely that the item in question was considered, but a summary appraisal report is simply that… a ‘summary.’ The item(s) in question was/were considered, but the details will not be found on the report.