Thinking of selling your home? In almost every case, you’ll need an appraisal.
You’ll use the appraisal to help set a selling price, and banks use appraisals to determine how much mortgage the buyer should be awarded. Buyers use appraisals, too; sometimes, they’ll include a contingency in their offer that allows them to back out if an appraisal comes in low.
If you’re like most sellers, you probably wonder how to get the highest appraisal on your home. Fortunately, these simple steps can help you figure out what adds value during this process. Here’s how to prepare for a home appraisal.
1. Keep It Clean
While it may not seem like it would matter, a thorough cleaning is essential. Why? Because impressions matter and a clean, well-cared-for home creates the impression of a well-maintained home.
The cleaning process itself will help you spot needed repairs or upgrades, giving you the chance to make fixes before the inspection. Finally, clearing away the clutter will allow the inspector to do their job more easily.
2. Kick Up the Curb Appeal
Upping your home’s curb appeal is key to making a good first impression. Luckily, this step requires more elbow grease than money. Take the time to do yard maintenance, such as mowing the grass, raking the leaves, and trimming the trees and shrubs.
While you’re dusting off the welcome mat, take a few minutes to make sure the porch lights are working and windows are shining clean. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a few bucks on fresh flowers and planters to enhance that well-maintained look.
3. Do Some Research
Research the comparable properties in your area and provide a list of comp sales to the inspector. As a resident of your community, you’ve got insight into the neighborhood that the inspector can’t simply lookup in a database… and there’s no way to guarantee they’ll even find the comps you want them to use.
For instance, you may know that your neighbor priced his house extremely low to sell quickly because he had to move out of state to start a new job. The inside scoop into such situations can help the appraiser make accurate estimates.
4. Brag a Bit
Now’s not the time to be modest, so go ahead and brag. Make a list of your home’s best features, including any repairs and upgrades you’ve completed, as well as the year built, square footage, and other basics. While the appraiser will already have some of this info, you want to ensure that it’s accurate.
5. Invest in the Right Improvements
While you shouldn’t go overboard, a few simple improvements may add value to a home appraisal. Consider painting walls and cabinets, installing a new garage door, adding some updated light fixtures, or similar small updates. Remember: only undertake improvement projects that will give you a high return on investment.
6. Make the Appraiser’s Job Easier
Clear away clutter, mess, and undesirable odors so the appraiser has the space they need to work. Compile the information you know they’ll need in an easy-to-read format. If you’re allowed to be on-site during the inspection, be available to answer questions but stay out of the way.
Ensuring that the appraiser can do their job in a pleasant environment may not boost your value, but not taking care of this basic step may hurt. Plus, it’s just good manners.
Knowing what adds value to home appraisal can help you prepare. Taking these simple steps may help ensure that your appraisal comes in at the right level.
Feeling nervous about the inspection? While most home sellers will need to have their home appraised, selling with HomeGo allows you to skip an in-depth inspection. Instead, HomeGo only needs a 15-minute walk-through. Skip the stress and depend on HomeGo to sell your home quickly.