When you’re ready to sell your home, an appraisal is an important step in the process. To make the most of your home’s sale, you need to know how to prepare for an appraisal. Knowing how to prepare for a home appraisal means taking a step back from being the homeowner and looking at your home with a critical eye.
It’s just as important for a buyer to be prepared for a home appraisal too. You need to know what to look for in determining the value of a home you may have fallen in love with on sight without knowing anything else about it.
Consider these things when determining how to prepare for an appraisal.
Give The House A Deep Clean
You’ve been keeping your house spotless for weeks or even months as you try to sell it, but when it comes to the appraisal, digging a little deeper and getting it even cleaner can make a difference in how the appraiser sees it.
Take some extra time to clean things that you don’t typically clean during a routine cleaning. Think about the interiors of cabinets, along baseboards, closet shelves and carpets, and other places that are usually out of sight and mind. Cleaning up these areas can show that your home is well cared for and maintained.
Check Safety Equipment
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are important pieces of safety equipment and may even be required by law. Check to make sure you have the appropriate numbers installed and in the right locations. Confirm that they work, too. If they don’t, get them replaced before the appraisal.
A home security system and child safety features such as outlet covers or cabinet locks may seem unimportant because they’re optional. But if you have them, they need to be in working condition. A broken or otherwise not properly functioning security system or child safety feature can give the impression that you don’t take good care of the home.
List New Amenities Since You Bought The Home
You know your neighborhood like the back of your hand. You know the new restaurants, shopping centers, and other features that make it a great place to live. But your appraiser may not know these things. They might not live in your neighborhood or even in your town.
Write up a list of all the new amenities you can think of since you bought your home. Think about restaurants, entertainment options like movie theaters and bars, shopping centers and malls, schools, and family-friendly fun and games. Don’t forget to mention any features that attracted you to buy the home too. These are all things that will persuade someone your home is a better option than others they might be looking at.
Update Any Outdated Materials, Fixtures, Or Appliances
Even if you bought your house just in the last few years, tastes and trends change rapidly. When determining how to prepare for an appraisal, take some time to consider what parts of your home are outdated and make the home look older.
Change outdated countertops, cabinets, and other fixtures or appliances. Buy a few home decorating magazines or browse some websites. Compare the images you see with what your house looks like. While you may not want to do a complete overhaul to try for a Pinterest-perfect image, swapping out a few outdated items can bring your home back into the present and make it seem fresh and new again.
Look For Damage Or Necessary Repairs
As a homeowner, you may have overlooked minor damage or repairs such as a toilet that runs constantly or some scuffed paint. These things seem trivial and in a busy life, not worth wasting time on. But when you’re considering how to prepare for a home appraisal, it’s time to spend the time on those things.
Look at your home with an extremely critical eye. If you aren’t sure you can be objective enough, ask a friend or relative to help you. Look for any damage or overlooked repairs, no matter how small they may be. Create a list and then use that list to quickly and easily fix the things you found. Even something as simple as refreshing some scuffed paint can make a huge difference in how much your home is deemed to be worth.
Give It Some Extra Curb Appeal
Whether you’ve got the greenest of thumbs or kill plants by merely looking in their direction, the landscaping around your home is one of the first impressions it makes. When you’re thinking about how to prepare for an appraisal, your home’s curb appeal should be one of the first things you think about.
Landscaping can be as simple as mowing the yard and eliminating weeds if the yard is already in good shape. But you’ll likely get a higher appraisal if you add some flowers, trim your trees, and clean up any clutter such as kids’ toys and lawn furniture. If your home appraisal is taking place during the winter months, make sure your walkways and driveway are cleared of ice and snow. Don’t forget to add some fresh mulch to your flower beds too. Remember the smallest details can make a huge difference.
Look At Past Appraisals For Your Home
While it’s not always possible, looking at your home’s past appraisals can be an excellent step in how to prepare for an appraisal. By looking at past appraisals, you can take note of what brought your property’s value down in the past. Those are areas you’ll want to check first to make sure they’re up to par.
Don’t forget to consider what areas you’re most critical about and look hardest at when you’re the one buying a home. While you’ve most likely focused on those areas in your assessment already, taking a little extra time to think about what you look at when buying a home can help you remember small, hidden things you might have overlooked.
Spruce Up The Small Stuff
When you’re considering how to prepare for an appraisal, you often focus on the big things: major appliances, the home’s foundation, the various systems that keep the house running, and the overall appearance. But the appraiser will be looking critically at everything, including the small stuff.
Spruce things up by freshening paint, hanging new curtains, and installing newer, more modern door knobs and fixtures throughout the house. These small changes might seem insignificant, but they give a newer, more modern feel to the house that can increase your home’s value.
Look At The Comparables For Your Area
You can talk to neighbors or ask your real estate agent to pull this information (or both). But when you’re considering how to prepare for an appraisal, looking at recent sale prices and comparing those homes to yours is one of the best things you can do. When you see a home that sold for a price similar to what you hope to get, compare that home to yours.
Look at the house’s general condition as well as the external and internal features of those homes. While you don’t want to make your home an exact duplicate, it can show you the areas you might want to focus your efforts on in order to get a similar offer on your own home. The features they have that you don’t might be the selling points that buyers are looking at, so focusing your efforts there might make a huge difference in your home’s appraised value.
Make Sure Your Real Estate Agent Is There
You live in the neighborhood so you’re familiar with it on an intimate level. But your real estate agent will not only know your neighborhood but others around it. They’ll be able to tell the appraiser about amenities and features that will increase the appraisal as well as explain what makes your neighborhood stand out from others around it.
Have your real estate agent attend the appraisal. They can bring sales data that can persuade the appraiser on your sale price, point out improvements in your home and the neighborhood, and might even have information on new things coming to the area that will increase your home’s value even more.
Learn More About How To Prepare For An Appraisal
Selling your home requires an investment of time and money. The appraisal is one of the biggest things that can ensure the money you invest gets returned to you as a higher sales price. When you’re trying to figure out how to prepare for a home appraisal, you want to know you’re covering all the bases and thinking about even those things you wouldn’t normally think about.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, if you’re ready to find out what it’s worth, let us help you find out. Call us at 1-801-882-2292 or request a free quote today!