5 Tips to Improve Your Home Appraisal
A low appraisal is what every home seller fears. In order to not be unpleasantly surprised by a lower-than-expected value of your home you should plan and prepare the following steps before the appraiser arrives at your door:
1. Ask If They Are Local
A homeowner cannot specifically choose an individual appraiser but they can request an appraiser with field experience in the market where the home is. If your appraiser doesn’t know the local area, creating a list of comparables of your area can be helpful (see tip number 5).
2. Tidy Up the House
Although technically an appraiser isn’t supposed to take the appearance of the home into consideration as much as the actual condition of the home, you still want to make sure your home is in good show condition for the appraisal. You want your home to look clean and offer great curbside appeal, so keep your landscape well maintained, cars out of the driveway to minimize the appearance of clutter and give the appraiser access to your entire home.
3. Make the Appraiser’s Visit a Pleasant One
Don’t go crazy here, but do the simple things that will make the appraiser feel comfortable and your home inviting. Adjust the home’s temperature and lock up your pets if you have them.
4. Make a Cheat Sheet of All Updates and Upgrades
Keep and maintain an itemized list of all updates and upgrades done to your home, especially those improvements that aren’t noticeable like electric, plumbic and a new roof. Pay attention to the upgrades that will increase your ROI. If you are planning to update the house, be careful to not over-improve your home. Cost may not equal value and whatever you spent does not necessarily translate to a dollar for dollar value increase.
5. Prepare Comps
Keep comparables from homes similar to yours on hand to show the appraiser; if you aren’t working with a real estate agent to help you, keep the following in mind: don’t just search for comps that will best drive up the value of your home. Appraisers will search for comps that are most similar to the subject property in size, location, construction etc. Before representing comps ask yourself if the comps would be a good replacement and similar enough that a buyer would theoretically consider buying them instead of the subject property. The comps should also be located in the same neighborhood, be of somewhat similar size and be recent.