Correctly pricing your home is very important, especially if you don’t want it to stay on the market too long and to sell for less than its actual worth. This is why paying $300 to $400 for a proper appraisal is worth the investment before putting the home on the market. The appraisal will evaluate the home from a visual standpoint, taking into account key elements of the location and physical characteristics of the property, such as proximity to good schools and the condition of the bathrooms. Additionally, the appraisal with take into consideration the local market conditions while providing you with a personalized expectation for selling your home. Since the appraiser is only on your property for a rather limited amount of time, there are a few tips that you can use in order to increase the chances of a favorable inspection. Those would be:
Clean the Home
While you don’t need to detail the property and pay a cleaning crew thousands of dollars to make the home absolutely spotless, making sure that the home is in working order typically increases the value of the appraisal. So attending to the delayed landscaping projects, cleaning carpets, filling holes in the wall, all of these will increase the overall condition rating of the property.
Have a List of Updates
Have a concise list of updates that you have made to the home for the appraiser when he arrives on site. So all of the last 15 years of upgrades and work should be itemized with the date and amount of money spent on each task. Also, don’t forget to include the key features of the property in a summary sheet along with the items that might not be immediately noticeable and even minor, such as new insulation or a sealed shower.
Have a List of Comps
While it is the appraiser’s job to know what the comps are in the local market, every bit of information helps your case. This is particularly true if you know of homes that are being sold by the owner instead of through the traditional agent-brokerage. There is a possibility that these homes weren’t filed recently through the government agencies in time and the appraiser would not have the necessary data.
Curb Appeal Counts
The condition of the home from the outside is important, so cut the grass and take out those pesky weeds. Once again, you shouldn’t spend thousands of dollars on landscaping services, but by attending to the key issues of maintenance and making sure that the home appears in order from the outside you will increase your appeal.
According to industry experts, government backed loans through the FHA necessitate the removal of peeling paint in homes built before 1978, so touching up all of the areas that may need it before the appraiser visits will help to hedge against a whole new paint job.
Location, Location, Location
In the rush to spruce up the home and provide a list of the recent upgrades and improvements to your home, don’t forget to mention any recent changes to the area such as a new shopping plaza, light rail, or community park. These features will positively affect the price of your home.
The best place to spend your money is on lighting, plumbing, carpet, and painting. So when you are considering the areas of improvement before the appraiser comes, focus on these first. Typcially these four have the highest ROI.
The $500 Rule
Home appraisers will often value properties in $500 increments, so if there are upgrades over this price that can be made, you should follow through on them first. Also, don’t forget to itemize these as you do them, as to provide a list to the appraiser for the valuation.
Let the Appraiser Do the Job
After providing the appraiser with a list of comps and upgrades, let him or her do their job and begin the inspection. Many times, people will follow the appraiser around the house and ask questions and engage in conversation, which could make the appraiser miss something. Make sure that you allow them to have some alone time so they can focus in on their job and give you the best assessment possible.
Make Them Comfortable
Have a dog that goes wild when someone new is over at the house? Lock them away or take them over to a friend’s house until the appraiser leaves. Also, if it is cold outside, make sure that you have the heat on in your home. These small things will put the appraiser at ease and help them to focus in on what’s important, which is giving you the best assessment possible.