The house appraisal is your last chance to ensure your home’s value is as high as possible, which is vital since most offers will be contingent on the buyer obtaining mortgage financing. Higher home appraisals mean smoother home sales. Preparing for a house evaluation will help you maximize its value before the appraiser’s visit. Here are nine suggestions to help your home appraise well.
What To Do Before an Appraisal?
Learning what to do before an evaluation allows you to exhibit your home at its best and answer the question: how much is my home worth? Here are easy actions you may take to make the appraisal process go smoothly and increase your appraisal value.
Start With Curb Appeal
You’ll want to create a positive first impression on the home appraiser and potential buyers with curb appeal. You can complete many budget-friendly curb appeal initiatives in a few hours. Before the appraiser visits, put in new mulch, plant fresh flowers, mow your lawn, rake the leaves, trim overgrown plants, and clear pathways and drives. You can then move on to more extensive curb appeal repairs, such as touching the exterior paint. The idea is to show the appraiser that your home’s exterior is well-kept.
Declutter your home
While appraisers will ignore a home’s “lived-in look,” decluttering can make their job easier as they collect photos and measurements. You should declutter the bedroom, kitchen, and living room because they are most used.
- Kitchen: Keep the sink free and put away dishes on the day of your appraisal. You can relocate seldom-used appliances off the counters to make your kitchen look more prominent.
- Living room: No stacks of magazines, books, or newspapers. Reducing pillows and blankets can give your area a simple look.
- Bedroom: Store clothes in closets or drawers; consider donating old clothes to a thrift store or shelter.
Organize your Home
Appraisers follow the rules, but their work is subjective. Clean your home thoroughly before your appraisal. A clean and tidy home reflects well on the homeowner and helps the appraiser see every detail. Deodorize refrigerators, garbage, pets, or dirty laundry odors, and pay special attention to baseboards and inside cupboards.
Fix The Little Things – The $500 Rule
Check your home for any problems. Many appraisers use increments of $500 to determine the value of a property. Minor repairs can boost your home’s valuation. Quick fixes include:
- Secure stairway, step, and deck railings
- Burnt-out bulbs
- Checking and replacing smoke alarm batteries
- Fixing roof stains, leaks, and plumbing
Check Garage, Roof, Foundation, And Home Systems
An appraiser will check your home’s exterior for structural soundness and curb appeal. The underlying problems include water damage, a broken or sagging chimney, and loose shingles. Check for water incursions or foundation, ceiling, or wall cracks. All of these are symptoms of foundation degradation. Your roof’s quality will determine your home’s value, so ensure it has at least three years left. Check the garage door opener, outlets, water, power, and HVAC systems.
Make Modest Upgrades
Simple house modifications can help you get a higher evaluation. Prioritize “must-have” things over “nice-to-have” ones. Replacing drawer and door handles can modernize your home without significant expenditure. Fresh paint can also give spaces a clean, refreshed look. Use neutral colors like light gray, cream, or beige to improve your home simply and elegantly.
List Your Home Upgrades
Create a list of the various home renovations you have already completed, such as installing a new kitchen or HVAC system or finishing your basement. The next step is to submit the appraiser with this list and any supporting documents, such as receipts or invoices, to demonstrate that you purchased and installed these upgrades. The appraiser will have an easier time seeing the additional value you have added to the home as a result of this, and it will be easier for them to explain the final value they assign to the property.
Create An Inviting Environment
Creating a friendly environment is vital for establishing a positive first impression. Light and bright places are more appealing, so open blinds and drapes and keep the lights on. Add cushions or blankets to the interior for comfort, and set the thermostat. These recommendations will make the appraiser’s visit easier.
Look At Comparable Properties in Your Area.
Looking at comparables in your region is a crucial component in preparing a home appraisal. It will provide you with great insight into the appraisal price you may expect for your house. Look at homes that sold in the recent 3 to 6 months and are similar in size, bedrooms, and baths. Comps allow you to compare your home’s appearance, interior, and general condition to others in your community. Familiarizing yourself with local comps will help you contest a poor appraisal.
The appraiser will also look at comparable homes in your neighborhood to get a price range. The number of rooms, square footage, location, and community affect property value. The appraiser will adjust each home depending on its qualities relative to the subject property.
Key Insights on How to Prepare for A House Appraisal
Knowing what the appraiser wants makes preparing for an appraisal stress-free. Many things may be done before the assessment to make the process go well, so take the time to show off your home. Ensure your home’s inside matches its appearance and that all appliances and systems work. Prepare a list of house improvements for your appraiser by decluttering and making minor repairs. These characteristics assist in boosting appraisal results and home value.