Many homeowners are wondering how the market has affected the value of their home.  With seeing many homes on the market dropping prices to get the homes sold, it makes one wonder how much their home is worth. The good news is that Brentwood has done much better than many other areas in Tennessee let alone other states during the economic downturn.   The real estate “comps” or comparables are important and many agents use them.  However, a professional appraisal provides a much more detailed look at your specific home and its current value. Amy Stumpfl with Brentwood Home Page recently wrote an article and spoke with a few appraisers about this.   Here is what the appraisers said: “Brentwood has performed relatively well compared to other markets,” says Murray W. Huber, RM, CRP, a partner with Huber & Lamb Appraisal Group. “Overall prices are down since the market peaked in 2007-08 … particularly in the high-end segment of $1 million to $2.5 million homes,” he adds, citing figures from “But we’re seeing a slight increase in total number of sales from March 2010 to March 2011. And we’re also seeing renewed confidence on the part of builders over the last two quarters. That’s another positive indicator.” Of course, such trends represent only one aspect of the appraisal process. “Home owners often confuse value and cost,” says Paul Stagner, owner of Anchor Appraisals in Brentwood. “They’re looking at what they originally paid for the house, or how much they may have spent on improvements. But it’s really more about what buyers are willing to spend.” Which brings us back to comparables. “Comparable sales are one driving force in the appraisal process, however they are historical,” explains Chris Hall, of Norman Hall & Associates, LLC. “Another factor that has to be considered is current active listings. If there is an oversupply of homes and the asking prices of the homes are under what the past sales were, this could have an impact or indicate a trend in the market that would have to be considered in the appraisal.” Other considerations include location, square footage, and the overall condition and quality of the home. “A 20-year-old house with the original roof and heating and air system will eventually sell, but in terms of an appraisal, you’re probably looking at the bottom range of the sales market,” says Stagner. “If you’re in a position to make upgrades, updated kitchens, baths and landscaping tend to yield the best return on investment.” And while professional appraisers are hired for their objectivity, Huber insists that first impressions do count. “Curb appeal is important,” he says. “Take the time to repair gutters, paint shutters and the front door, and take care of overgrown landscaping. Professionally clean carpets and flooring and remove the clutter. From a pure value standpoint, these are cosmetic issues and are weighted accordingly. But there is still an impact on both the appraiser, and more importantly, on the buyer.” Stagner agrees, noting that cleanliness often speaks to the overall maintenance of the home. “The most important thing is that the property should be clean and well-maintained,” he says. “Fresh paint, nice landscaping, updated fixtures – these things may not add significant value, but they certainly add to the marketability of your home.”