How to prepare for a home appraisal | 9 useful tips
When you sell or refinance your home, an appraisal of the home is normally required. A home appraiser will visit your property to assess its worth, and their findings can be very important.
Your home’s market value can help you sell for more, give you more equity on refinancing, or make it easier for a buyer to get the financing they need close to your home. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to get the appraiser to value your home as highly as possible.
The first impression is important when the appraiser comes by to set the right tone for the assessment. With the best first impression, you have a better chance of getting the desired rating.
There are many simple things you can do to boost the appearance of the home. Just making sure everything is tidy, mowing the lawn, pruning shrubs and cleaning driveways, that gives the right impression.
A fresh coat of paint on exterior features can also make a big difference, showing that the home has been well-maintained.
A thoroughly clean home indicates that the home has been well maintained. While it won’t solve any major problems, it will show your home in its best light.
Not only do you want your home to look clean, it should also smell clean. Be sure to deodorize to remove unpleasant odors.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to do the deep cleaning yourself, you can always hire professionals. They can wash your carpets and can even take care of things you didn’t even know were a problem.
to clean up
Having a lot of clutter in your home may not directly affect the valuation, but it can make the appraiser’s job more difficult and you want to keep the appraiser happy. If things get in the way, it will be more difficult for the appraiser to take measurements and access the areas of the house that need them. A house with less clutter also gives a better image and looks more spacious. Realistically clearing a house should be done before putting a house up for sale as it needs to be in the best light for buyers too.
Make sure the house is welcoming
In addition to cleaning and tidying up, there are other things you can do to create the right impression. Bright rooms are more attractive, so be sure to open the blinds and curtains all the way. When the appraiser comes, you should also turn on all the lights to add to the natural light.
It can also help make the house look more comfortable. Try adding some pillows and blankets. Make sure the temperature is also set to a comfortable level and do everything else to make the appraiser more welcome.
If you’ve been putting off some minor repairs, you’d hardly be alone, but now’s the time to take care of them. If you expect to get the highest possible rating, make sure there are no obvious problems.
Problems like squeaky doors, scratches on baseboards and dripping faucets may seem like minor problems, but they add up. Often appraisers use the $500 rule, where minor issues reduce the appraised value by $500 each. Solving these problems starts at $500 each, so try to view the home as the appraiser wants to avoid depreciating its value.
Simple home improvements
There are many simple, inexpensive improvements you can make to increase the appraisal value. A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into a tired-looking room, and new handles on kitchen drawers and cabinets can refresh the room somewhat without spending much.
List your home improvements
Have a list of the home improvements you have completed ready for the home appraiser. If you’ve had a new HVAC system or appliances installed, add them to your list and make sure you have receipts for the improvements. However, you should list improvements you have made over the years, more than that won’t help.
This will show the appraiser that extra value has been added to the home and will help justify their assessment of the home. While the appraiser may notice the upgrades, showing the receipts and the money you spent should increase the value.
Check for Structural Problems
Check the exterior of your home for any structural problems. Watch out for loose shingles that might let rain in, damage to the chimney and anything else on the outside that doesn’t look right.
It is also important that the roof does its job by keeping the rain out. As the roof nears the end of its life, this will affect the value of the entire home. Typically, the roof should last at least another 3 years, otherwise you can expect it to become a problem.
Inside the house, check the foundation for cracks and look for signs of water making its way into the house. If the foundations are damaged, this is something you need to address as the appraiser will notice.
You also need to ensure that the home’s main plumbing and electrical systems are fully functioning. Check for broken outlets or faulty HVAC systems.
Real Estate Comparisons
To get an idea of how much your home could be valued, take a look at local real estate listings. Homes that have recently sold will give you a better idea and you’ll be looking for similarly sized homes with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
This also gives you a lot of valuable information about where your home fits in the local market. It can also show you whether the assessment is fair or not, and help you decide whether it is justified to challenge it.
With a better understanding of what a home appraiser checks, you can better prepare your home for the home appraisal. If you go through the house and take care of all the above things, it should have a positive effect on the result of the valuation of the house.
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About the author
Top Wellington broker, Michelle Gibson, wrote: How to prepare for a home appraisal | 9 useful tips
Michelle has specialized in residential real estate in Wellington, Florida and the surrounding area since 2001. Whether you want to buy, sell or rent, she guides you through the entire real estate transaction. Are you ready to use Michelle’s knowledge and expertise, call or email her today.
Service areas include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres, and more.