Whether you’re trying to sell your home or take out a mortgage, getting your home appraised is an important step in the process. It will typically involve having an appraiser visit your home in order to make a professional evaluation of your home’s value.
On average, a visit by an appraiser may not exceed an hour, depending on how large your property is, so you really need to make sure your home gives off the perfect first impression.
The good news is that you can actually influence your appraiser positively by following the simple steps given below.
#1. Clean up nicely
Even a mediocre house looks its best when cleaned up properly. Things like misplaced toys, unwashed dishes and messy bathrooms may not really have a bearing on the real value of a property, but they can all negatively influence an appraiser’s valuation of your home. There is no mystery here, cleanliness is a major issue when showing your home to others.
Moreover, your efforts to clean your home should not be limited to the interior at the expense of your surroundings. In fact, since the outer environs of your home are probably the very first thing an appraiser will notice, you should put in extra effort into making sure your yard looks spick and span.
#2. Look into landscaping
As a follow up to the previous point, you can go further than having a clean yard to having a beautiful one. Things like planting a garden and taking care of your lawn will go a long way in helping the appraiser see your house just the way you want. Also remember that sometimes value is relative, so if your home stands out from the rest of the homes in your neighborhood then that might just score you some extra points.
#3. Keep detailed records of home improvements
If you have carried out any major renovations or repairs recently, they could help increase the value of your home. The money you have invested in making these improvements will be factored into the valuation if you can provide substantial evidence that the home was actually improved along with receipts of the monetary value of the work done.
#4. Focus on problem areas
There are a few major problem areas in your home that appraisers take significant interest in, such as your roof, bathrooms and kitchen; so, before your home is appraised, be sure to fix any noticeable damage to any of these areas. It also won’t hurt if you go ahead and make some improvement to these areas to show that you’ve recently invested in renovations and repairs.
#5. Consider fresh paint
If your house is old, there is a high possibly that the paint has worn off and a fresh coat might be required. New paint will definitely knock a couple of years off your property’s age in the eyes of the appraiser and give it a fresh appearance.
#6. Highlight unique selling points
Some people prefer to just let appraisers walk around and stumble upon things for themselves. A more proactive approach would be to point out the best and most unique features of your home. Remember, every little thing counts.
#7. Find Positive Comparables
Comparables can work both ways: if you’re lucky, you may be able to supply your appraiser with information on a few homes like yours that sold for good prices and will help you get a better valuation, but on the other hand, having a number of foreclosures in your area will also negatively affect the valuation of your home.
The same applies to the interior of your home. If your windows, furniture, carpeting and doors etc reflect that the property is considerably old, appraisers will naturally evaluate it in comparison with other properties which are similarly aged. This is why it’s important to spruce up your home for an appraisal to make the most of it.