If you are planning to sell or refinance your house you will be getting an appraisal on the property. Either the home buyer or the bank will want to get a third party to check out your house. It will give them a good idea of what condition it’s in and what its current value might be.
The prospect could sound daunting and even a little invasive but if you prepare you can take a lot of the stress out of it.
Here is a quick list of things you can get done to make your appraisal go smoothly, present your house in it best, and get an appraisal you can be sure of.
Take care of landscaping and curb appeal
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. When an appraiser approaches your house their first impression will color just about everything they see when they enter your house.
If your house has a yard that is cut and shrubs and trees well maintained, then the appraiser sees a house that has been taken care of.
If the little things are taken care of, then the appraiser knows you have been a conscientious homeowner. This will give you the benefit of the doubt on any issues that come up in the appraisal process.
Make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries and work. Check all the light bulbs and switches. Take care of any exposed wiring. Do whatever you can to make it obvious that you are a homeowner that takes care of their property.
Freshen up your house’s look
Over the years you might have become used to the little things in your house. It can be well worth the effort to spruce things up a bit.
Touching up some paint, replacing hardware, and making sure your light fixtures are up to date will give your house an extra spark.
Take care of the 3 D’s
Declutter, De-personalize, Deep Clean.
A potential home buyer that has to pick their way around your personal possessions will find it hard to imagine that the house will ever be anything other than yours.
An appraiser that has to pick through trash or dirt to inspect a house will not look favorably on it.
Be transparent with the good and the bad
If there are cracks in the foundation or the roof needs to be repaired, then make sure that the appraiser knows this upfront. You aren’t going to be able to hide it from them anyway and it will establish a good relationship from the start.
Likewise, make a list of any recent repairs and upgrades you have done. If you have put in new countertops, a new floor, or a new HVAC list them all with the dates they were done and how much was spent. Any receipts for the work will help as well.
Take care of $500 items.
Small things like wallpaper, scratched floors, or dripping faucets may seem like small things but an appraiser could very well mark them down and generally assign a standard price to them. Often five hundred dollars.
If you get enough of these $500 items on your appraisal they can add up to thousands off of your appraisal.
Know your community
You can get a good idea of what your house might appraise for if you look at similar houses in your neighborhood. The appraiser will be doing the same thing.
You can count on an appraiser to look a minimum of 1 mile out from your house and examine the listing and sales prices for houses of similar sizes, room counts, and conditions.
What they may not be aware of are the things your neighborhood has to offer other than houses. Parks, Schools, and shopping centers add value to your community.
Even if they are aware of these things currently if you know that a new shopping center is being built, or your school rating was just upgraded let your appraiser know.
Make it easy on your appraiser
Work with the appraiser to set an appointment that works for both of you, and keep that appointment. Make sure you clear your house and property of obstructions. Above all, give the appraiser space.
You will want to follow them around the house, but they know what they are doing. If you let them do their job they will definitely appreciate it.
If you are planning on selling your house on the market then these tips will make the appraisal process as profitable as possible.
There are very few cases when you won’t get an appraisal at all, so it’s best to prepare. If you find that this sort of preparation is daunting, you might consider selling to real estate investors. Investors are looking for a bargain and expect to have repairs and updates to their purchases.