Whether you’re buying, selling, or refinancing, an appraisal is an essential part of your new loan. An appraisal is an independent and objective option about your home’s value. It’s based on home’s location, amenities, condition, and recent sales of similar properties. Knowing what the appraiser is looking for can help you prepare.
Use these five strategies to improve your home’s appraisal.
1. Improve your home’s curb appeal. Here’s your chance to make a great first impression. Touch up the exterior paint. Paint the front door. Sweep off walkways. Clean the yard. Mow the lawn. Remove dead grass. Switch out dead grass, bushes, and plants with drought-resistant ones. Trim the bushes. Plant new flowers. Add solar-powered lights along the walkway.
2. Prepare your home. It’s the MOST important open house you’ll host. Clean. Make the rooms look bigger by removing clutter like excess furniture, stacks of magazines, and piles of clothes. Get rid of any old TVs – they make a house look dated. Make sure your home smells pleasant. Take out the litter box. Remove area rugs on top of carpet – it may look like your hiding stains. Make some minor cosmetic improvements like replacing the kitchen faucet and hardware, replace outdated vanity lights, and have the carpets cleaned.
3. Fix it, repair it, or remove it. You want everything in your home to work. If it’s not working, you need to fix it, replace it, or remove it.
4. Talk to the appraiser before the walk-through. Ask the appraiser if they’re familiar with your neighborhood. Let them know about your house – any special features and major improvements. If possible, attend the appraisal or have your agent attend so questions can be answered and any work you’ve done can be pointed out. Don’t hover – it’s a red flag that something might be wrong. Give the appraiser enough space and time to complete the inspection.
5. Provide a list of home improvements. Don’t assume the appraiser knows everything about your home. Make a list of improvements – big and small – that you’ve made and give it to the appraiser. Be sure to include the dates and cost of each improvement. Remember to include any structural improvements that are hard to see like electrical, plumbing, roofing, and heating/cooling systems.
The above strategies are suggestions and do not constitute recommendations that will guaranty an increase the appraised value of your home.