What you should know before scheduling your home appraisal
A home appraisal is an important step when selling your home or refinancing your mortgage. It is a professional, unbiased estimate of how much your home is worth.
For buyers, their lender or bank will order the appraisal to determine if the true or fair market value of your house matches the amount the buyer wants to borrow. If the property is worth less than the assessed value, the bank won’t lend the money.
A home appraisal takes into consideration the following:
- Exterior or how your house looks from the outside
- Comps or comparables, which determines the value of the home based on recently sold properties with similar features
- Upgrades or renovations that impacts the market value of the home
While an appraisal is an objective evaluation, the homeowner can influence the outcome based on the home’s exterior or the appraiser’s knowledge of recent upgrades.
This is why you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared before scheduling the home appraisal. Read on to see the steps you should take to make sure that you’re ready.
Cover the basics
Make sure that your home’s basic safety measures are functional. These include the lights, home security systems, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide filters, door locks, and fire extinguishers. Everything should be up to date and in good working order.
Keep access points clear
The appraiser should be able to measure your home without any impediment. This means that you’ll need to clear paths to windows, doors, and water heaters so that the appraiser can access them. Ensure that the appraiser can easily enter all of the rooms inside your house. Trim overgrown bushes and remove tools, bikes, and garden hoses that are lying around. These may prevent the appraiser from measuring your home’s exterior.
Up your home’s curb appeal
You’ll want to make sure that your landscaping’s neat, so mow your lawn before the appraiser comes. Lay down a new layer of mulch and replace old potted plants with cheerful flowers. Seal your deck, driveway, or patio to make sure that it looks fresh. Fix loose shingles and clogged gutters. Make sure that the path that leads to your home is clean and well lit. Think about adding decorative elements to your doorway.
Remember the rule of $500
Appraisers are said to value homes in $500 increments. This means that you should invest in small fixes that cost less than $500. This includes repairing a leaking roof, gutters, faucets, and toilets. Make sure that your house doesn’t have any loose floorboards or tiles. Repair any cracks in the walls and touch up any spots. Oil any squeaky door hinges and ensure that none of your doors stick.
Make sure that there are no visible stains on your carpets and that your home is free of bugs and other pests. Get rid of the dead tree outside your house. Consider investing in modern handles. Ensure that all of your light switches, fans, vents, and wall outlets are working.
Each small fix can add value to your home and help increase the final appraisal amount, so take a tour of your home and make a list of all the small items that need to be fixed. Try to look at your house with an unbiased eye and fix all the things that catch your attention.
Keep track of your home’s upgrades
If you’ve upgraded the interior and exterior of your home, you should let the appraiser know. List down any upgrades you’ve made after buying your home. Write down the date and the corresponding cost. If you still have them, include receipts and permits. Make sure to point out nearby features that could boost your home’s value, such as new shops, restaurants, or parks.
Clean and declutter
Put your best foot forward. Make sure that your carpets, floors, and surfaces are clean. It might be worth investing in professional cleaning services. If you want to do the cleaning yourself, make sure to do it thoroughly and declutter accordingly.
Make sure that there’s ample space on your countertops. Ensure that the dishes are done and that your house smells fresh. Eliminate any smelly odors. Take out the trash and make sure that your house is filled with light. Even though the appraiser won’t evaluate your furniture, a clean house is sure to make a good impression.
Check out the competition
To get an idea of your home’s value, check out the sales prices of similar houses in your area. These houses should have the layout, square footage, condition, and upgrades that are comparable to yours. Go back six months to look at houses that were sold at the same time of year that you’re planning to sell. All of this information can be found online or in public property records.
Once you’ve accomplished all of these steps, you can be sure that you’ve done your best to show off your home. Once the appraiser arrives, give them the space that they need to do their job.
Do you need more tips for selling your home in Brazos Valley, Texas? Let Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Caliber Realty be your expert guides through a successful and enjoyable home sale. Contact our reliable agents today. Call 979.694.8844 or email your inquiries to sales(at)bhhscaliber(dotted)com.