Steps to Prepare for an Appraisal

Oct 9, 2014

You may think you own the nicest house on the block, but when it comes down to market value, getting a high house appraisal is crucial. If you need to appraise your home, here are a few suggestions to help get that high number you’re looking for.

Curb Appeal
First impressions matter, so make sure to trim the lawn and pull any weeds. When the appraiser walks up to your home, they should first see a well-kept home. If your neighborhood has experienced any foreclosures, setting your home apart from the others will give the appraiser the actual picture of what your home is worth.

Tidy Up
This may seem like a no-brainer but the clutter you feel comfortable living with may look like a shortage of storage to the appraiser. Don’t forget that they’ll be taking a lot of pictures both indoors and outdoors, so you’ll want your space to look clean and open.

Finish Projects
Just because you can imagine what the master bathroom will look like once the renovations are finished doesn’t mean the appraiser will. To them, it’s an unfinished project that could harm the value of your home.

List Upgrades
It is important to let the appraiser know about any upgrades you’ve made so he/she can measure them against the amenities found in comparable properties. Upgrades can be anything from new appliances and cabinets to resurfacing the back deck. Instead of following the appraiser around your home pointing out what you’ve done to upgrade, put together a folder with your lists along with any receipts you may have.

Comps, Comps, Comps
It’s always a good idea to do your homework before the appraiser arrives. ‘Comparables’ are similar homes in your area that have sold in the last few months and it’s important to have an idea of what your home could be worth. Although the appraiser will look in every room of your home, what they really want to know is what homes are selling for in your neighborhood.

Get Comfy
Sure the appraiser is there to do a job, but in the end they are still a guest in your home. Make sure they feel comfortable! If the weather permits, open a few windows to air out your home. Adjust the thermostat to a comfortable setting. And if you have any animals, lock them up so they don’t bother your guest.

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