9 Steps to a Higher Home Appraisal

When refinancing or selling your home, you will need to get an appraisal, but how do you know if you are going to get top dollar? Just think, you have put an immense amount of effort into updating your home, new paint job, or just taking out carpet to put in hardwood floors. These changes will, of course, score you a higher appraisal, but let’s go beyond that! Here are 9 tips to follow for a higher appraisal! 

  • Local

    When the appraiser calls to set-up the appointment, ask if they’re local. Real estate is local and if an appraiser is coming from out of town, they may not be too familiar with the local real estate market. You want your home to be appraised relative to its location, not in relation to the local market of the appraiser from an hour away.

  • Tidy Up!

    Just like a job interview, the first impression is the most important thing, and you often do not have a second chance to change that first impression. So, you want to make sure that everything is in its place! The appraiser will not be in your home for too long, so be sure to pick up those stray socks laying around after laundry day! 

  • Take a Look Outside

    The exterior of your home should also be neat and clean. If your home is being appraised during the Spring, make sure to have the grass cut, bushes trimmed, and pick up any toys that may be laying around! The outside of your home should be just as clean as the inside of your home! Like stated before, first impressions are key. 

  • Improvements 

    When the appraiser comes, they are going to base their report off of recently sold homes. So, make sure to have a list of updates ready. Significant improvements on a property can help the appraiser understand the work put into the home and encourage them to appraise it higher than the recent purchase price. 

  • Comparisons 

    This step includes discussing prices with your real estate agent. Ask them for the price of comparable properties that have recently sold as well as those currently on the market. Discuss this with your appraiser as well. 

  • Health & Safety 

    Make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are installed within fifteen feet of all bedrooms. Smoke detectors should be installed inside each bedroom at the doorway. Also, check with local building codes to be sure of any other safety features you will need to implement before your appraisal. 

  • Paint

    Make sure to paint your walls with a neutral/balanced color. This will bounce off natural light and make each room brighter and more appealing to the eye. This will also help repair some obvious wear and tear done to your walls including small dents and/or scuff marks. 

  • Roof

    Be sure that the roof is in good shape. If there is any obvious damage or aging, the appraiser will take note which will lower your appraisal. The cost to improve your roof will benefit you in the long run. 

  • Mechanics

    This step is simple. This is just to ensure that all of your mechanics are working correctly; electrical, water heater, plumbing, hvac, etc. Having these updated and/or being sure that there is some life left in them will increase your appraisal. 

 Any buyer’s  mortgage hinges on the home appraisal and will not go through without it. This is the most important step to selling your property, and you do not want to fight a low home appraisal. If you follow these tips, you will be able to get the best return on any upgrades and/or sweat equity that you have put into your home.

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