How to Get a Higher Appraisal on Your Home
A professional home appraisal is an important part of not only selling a home but also refinancing it. The impartial opinion of your home’s current worth provides prospective buyers and lenders with a clear insight into a home’s value. Professional appraisers consider a property’s state and features and how it measures up to other related homes for sale within the same neighborhood. While you can’t control some influencing factors like the value of surrounding properties and closeness to great schools, there are several simple steps you can take to raise your home’s value. Keep reading to learn more about some of these steps.
1. Get Rid of Clutter
Apart from making your rooms appear smaller and a bit darker; clutter may also prevent the appraiser from correctly measuring the rooms’ dimensions. Remember the dimensions of your rooms are a crucial part of the appraisal.
Tip: Keep your closets organized. Instead of putting your clutter in your closets, rent a temporary storage room. Clear all your entrances to any crawl spaces or lofts.
2. Clean Up
Give appraisers a positive first impression of your home by thoroughly cleaning it. While the cleanliness of a house or apartment isn’t technically an aspect in an appraisal, it’s extremely easy to spot positive features in a property that seems well-maintained than one that appears neglected.
Tip: Clean your house as if you’re preparing for a showing. Thoroughly scrub wood, vinyl, or tile floors. Clean kitchen cabinets. You can even invest in more ready-to-assemble cabinets in order to make your kitchen easier to organize. Ensure windows are sparkling clean both inside and out.
3. Complete Small Repairs
Are there easily fixable problems you’ve been postponing? You can handle easily fixable issues in your home before the appraisal. The status of your property has a huge impact on its value, so it’s wise to finish up any small projects you’ve been postponing.
Tip: Make sure all the major systems in your house are working. Confirm whether you’ve executed all routine maintenance recommendations and fix anything that’s not functional.
4. Invest in Updates that Pay Off and Document them
Identify inexpensive projects that can raise your home’s value. It could be replacing windows and the front door. It could be painting the walls afresh or investing in ready-to-assemble cabinets for your kitchen. It could also be laminating flooring and tile or updating old countertops. Whatever you choose to do, ensure looks are neutral, yet classy.
Don’t forget to document your updates. Before-and-after images combined with a precise spreadsheet of the amount you invested in each renovation and when the job was completed may convince an appraiser to give out a number that significantly surpasses what they first called out. Remember to highlight all crucial structural updates to electrical systems and HVAC units and provide receipts. While improvements to such systems may be difficult to see, they can considerably improve an appraisal.
5. Seek Expert Advice from Local appraisers
Call appraisers within your area of residence and seek advice. They may tell you what they check during the appraisal process. They may also offer you suggestions on things you can do to raise your home’s value.
6. Enhance Your Curb Appeal
Both your home’s inside and outside are important. Appraisers start their assessment right from your gate, so enhancing your home’s curb appeal can help you begin the process on your best foot. Ensure exterior lighting, footpaths, and driveways are spotless and in good condition. Mow your lawn, weed any gardens, and trim the ends of any landscaping beds. Get rid of debris and trash from outdoor areas.
7. Have A Comprehensive Inspection Done on Your Home before the Appraisal
If you think your house may have any structural issues or potential hazards, ensure a complete inspection is done before you schedule the appraisal. The inspection should be done by a licensed and experienced home inspector. The inspection report will identify all problems in your property and provide recommendations on how to fix them.
These 7 options will increase your chances of getting a higher appraisal value. The higher the appraisal value, the higher the amount of money you’ll get if you sell or refinance your home. Remember to hire a competent local appraiser. Find someone who has appraised several properties in your area and understands your current local market.