Appraising a luxury home can be stressful, so preparation is important before commencing with a luxury home inspection. In this post, we provide valuable tips for preparing to inspect a luxury home, including some key questions to ask of the homeowner, agent, or builder about upgrades and amenities.
1. Research the subject property
Carefully research the subject property prior to the appraisal inspection, keeping the following in mind:
- Online mapping (aerial, satellite, GIS) can help with a preliminary search.
- Online property assessment data is also available in most municipalities.
- Check the ad valorem assessment that the property is a luxury (or high-value) property.
- Even sources such as Zillow can be useful in gathering preliminary information about a subject’s physical characteristics.
2. Ask questions of the owner/builder
Here are some key questions to ask of the homeowner or builder:
- How long have you owned the property?
- Have you made any major improvements or renovations to the property?
- Do you know who the builder or the architect is?
- Are you aware of any features or upgrades that would set the property apart from the competition?
- What type of new technology is incorporated into the home or property?
- Does the home have any green/energy-efficient items or recycled/reclaimed or sustainable materials?
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3. Select comparable sales and listings before the luxury home inspection
This helps you understand the competition and the common features seen in other luxury homes. You can question the agent about available sales, listings, and the market in general at the inspection.
4. Prepare the homeowner
Prepare the homeowner for the amount of time you estimate that it will take to complete a detailed luxury home inspection.
Inform the homeowner in advance of the inspection that interior and exterior photos will be taken and that the entire dwelling, all outbuildings, guest cottages, boat houses, etc. will need to be fully accessible to the appraiser.
5. Research the architect and builder
Finally, it is highly recommended to investigate, through public records, if the property is associated with a renowned architect or builder as part of the pre-inspection process.
Want to learn more? Gain specialized knowledge and get recognized as a luxury home valuation expert with McKissock’s Certified Luxury Home Appraiser (CLHA) program.