Are you getting your home appraised in preparation for selling the property? Or perhaps you’re getting your mortgage refinanced?
There are certain things about a home appraisal that you need to keep in mind, such as its effects on deciding whether or not you’re getting a loan or the price at which you will be able to sell the property.
For this reason, we have created a list of the 9 best tips for preparing your home for home appraisal in order to get it appraised at a higher value.
What Is Home Appraisal?
A home appraisal is a process of assessing the value of your real estate property.
The process is typically done by a licensed appraiser who would come to the property, take a look at it from all angles, and assess its current value based on the condition of the property, its appeal, and its surroundings.
Home appraisers are typically hired by banks and mortgage lenders, and their appraisal of the property can determine whether you’re getting that mortgage refinanced or not.
It is no wonder that home appraisal is such an important aspect to keep an eye on in the real estate market.
Whether you’re trying to buy a home or sell one, the home appraisal can have a tremendous effect on your investment or on your sale, and it is one of the primary determinants of whether you’re getting your refinancing loan or not.
Related: What Are the Main Property Valuation Methods?
So, how can you plan around home appraisal and prepare your property for it in order to get your home appraised at a high value?
How Do You Achieve Higher Value During Home Appraisal?
Clean and Tidy Homes Have a Greater Appeal
Since a home appraisal is a task that is done by a human being, it is only natural that his/her opinion, and therefore his/her appraisal of the property, is highly affected by his/her first impression of the property.
Realistically speaking, while the cleanness and tidiness of a home do not actually affect its value, a clean and tidy home will certainly look and feel better, and therefore it might give the impression that it is worth more.
So, before you get your home appraised, make sure to get it as clean and tidy as possible.
Provide Safety Equipment and Installations
Having your home equipped with safety equipment and installations, like a smoke detector or a home security alarm, can definitely affect the value of your home appraisal.
Walk Around the Property
Before the home appraiser comes in with his/her critical eyes and starts writing down notes on your property, make sure to “walk in his/her shoes” first to see what he/she will see.
Take a tour around your property and keep a critical eye on anything that needs fixing or that might reduce the value of your home.
Keep an eye out for any loose floor tiles, cracks in the wall, or anything that might make the property seem neglected.
Related: How to Analyze an Investment Property to Determine Its Investment Viability
Do Some Minor Improvements
While repainting the walls or hanging new curtains might not seem like a big deal, these minor improvements to the property can make a huge difference in the eyes of the home appraiser.
These minor improvements do not have a high cost, but they will tremendously affect your home appraisal and increase your home’s value well above the price that you’ve paid for them.
Inform Your Appraiser About the Improvements That You’ve Made
Informing your appraiser about the different improvements that you’ve made on the real estate property will not result in him/her thinking that you’re sucking up to him/her.
It will allow the appraiser to realize that you’re taking good care of the property and that you’ve invested time, effort, and money in improving it in order to increase its value. These things will be taken into consideration, especially when it comes to improvements that are hidden and that the appraiser might not notice.
Keep Record of All Receipts and Documents
In the last point, we mentioned improvements that the appraiser might not be able to detect.
These improvements can be invaluable for the real estate property and might increase its value by a drastic amount. So, how will the appraiser know that you’ve installed new plumbing systems when he/she can’t see them?
This is why documentation is important. It allows the home appraiser to see proof of the improvements that cannot be easily detected, allowing him/her to take them into consideration.
Research the Neighborhood
One of the best ways that can help you prepare your property for home appraisal is to research other properties in the neighborhood that have been recently sold or appraised.
Information about home appraisals is typically part of a public record. Dig into the public records and look for real estate properties’ home appraisals that are similar to yours. What were the prices of recently sold homes in the area? What were the results of their home appraisals?
This all is information that you can use to your advantage, and it might give you a hint or two on where to focus on your home improvements to increase the value of your home during appraisal.
Consider the Outside Area
Do no, ever, underestimate the outside area of your real estate property.
This includes your yard, garden, swimming pool, or any other outside areas.
Make sure that the lawn is mowed, the plants are all trimmed and not overgrown, and the swimming pool is clean.
The outside area of your property is literally the very first impression that anyone is going to have about your home.
Consider the Surrounding Area
Although you can’t control or change the area surrounding your property, it is generally a good idea to keep track of all the attractions, public services, and amenities that are in the area.
This is because the location of the property and its surrounding area can have a huge effect on the value of the property, and your home appraiser might not be familiar with the area or know what attractions exist in it.
For this reason, it is generally a good idea to inform the appraiser about such attractions to keep in consideration when deciding the value of your home.
Related: What is Location in Real Estate Investing?
The home appraisal is a very big deal for most homeowners, investors, and sellers in the real estate market.
It can be the determining factor of whether you’re going to be able to refinance your mortgage or not, and it can also greatly affect the price point at which you are able to sell your property.
Make sure to follow the steps above before getting your home appraised to ensure that you get the highest possible value on your home.
Note: You can learn more about home appraisal from StateFarm’s article on what to expect from your home appraisal here.
For more articles, guides, and lists related to real estate and real estate investing, make sure to visit Mashvisor’s blog section for over 1,000 articles covering all different aspects of real estate investing.