Preparing Homes for Appraisal

Freshly Landscaped House

You have finally reached the decision to sell your home. Step one - check! Now that you have that resolution in your mind, you can start the selling process. But before the fliers, the listings, the open house, the contract, and the closing, you need to set the price of your home. Your Realtor can help with the Comparative Market Analysis to assign an initial value to your home before it goes on the market.

After a buyer has expressed interest in your home and a purchase offer has been issued, the mortgage lender will send a licensed appraiser to your home to assess your homes value. This critical analysis is used to set the value of your home based on location, condition, footage, and other features. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your house is set to sell at its full value.


Landscaped Front Yard

The first feature that everybody and anybody, especially your appraiser, notices is the appearance of your home. Curb appeal and interior cleanliness are essential to a high appraisal.

Improving your curb appeal is not as complicated as it may sound. Maintaining a healthy lawn can be a challenge in some regions, but taking simple steps like mowing regularly has a huge impact on the look of your yard. If it’s springtime or summer, plant a few annual flowers, lay some wood chips in your flowerbeds, and keep the weeds at bay by tugging out a few every day before you head off to work. Regular maintenance, be it small or large, keeps your yard looking fantastic. In addition to keeping your yard clean cut, pay attention to the exterior of your home. Porch lights and windows tend to collect dust, spider webs, and general grime. Grab a paper towel and cleaner and wipe down your light fixtures. If you notice a loose screw, feel free to tighten it.

Updates and Records

Remodeled Basement

It is important to know the places and parts of your home that you have improved in the past. For instance, if you replaced your furnace two years ago, make sure your appraiser knows. The financial investments you make in your home maintenance have to potential to give you a higher appraisal. Provide a list of the updates you have made in the last ten or fifteen years, including costs and approximate dates.

In addition to that, be prudent in where you choose to invest new updates. Appraisers typically rate homes in increments of $500,although that is not necessarily the rule of thumb. But if you decide to follow that guideline, fix any problems that value at or above $500. Address paint, carpets, lights, and plumbing first, since these typically have a high rate of return for your money.

Information About the Neighborhood

Arial Shot of a SubdivionImprovements to the neighborhood and community you live in can affect the value of your home. Make sure to mention any new stores, marketplaces, parks, or even sidewalks in your general area. If you have a close knit neighborhood, make sure to tell your appraiser about the community events that take place throughout the year, be they service projects, barbecues, or holiday parties. If your location has been declared a historic site, or has any other special designation, don’t hesitate to share.

Keep Yourself and the Pets, at Bay

When your appraiser comes, give them the initial rundown of the place, your neighborhood improvements, records, and other information, and then clear out of the way. Interruptions may cause the appraiser to miss something important, be it good or bad. In addition to clearing yourself out of the way, put any pets outside or in their kennels. There are few things more distracting than a bristling dog following you around. Let your appraiser do his or her job.

With a few simple steps, you can raise the value of your home and get a strong appraisal supporting your sale price. Your home sale isn't complete until financing is approved, funded and the escrow is closed. A little preperation before the appraiser comes out to the house can greatly increase your chances for a smooth an successful closing!

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