During a home appraisal, a licensed appraiser conducts a thorough inspection of the property.
The appraiser will consider all factors that could affect the property’s value. These factors include: the condition of the property, any upgrades or additions made to the property, the size of the lot, and market “comps,” or recently sold properties of comparable size and condition in the same market.
There are several things sellers can do to increase their home’s value.
1. Do Your Research
Look at sales prices via public property records for homes within the area that are similar in square footage, layout, upgrades, and condition. Markets tend to experience seasonal ebbs and flows, so looking back at least six months will be most beneficial.
2. Make Minor Fixes
Now is the time to break out that to-do list of projects that every homeowner has. Oil the hinges on that squeaky door, replace the lightbulbs that have burnt out, put an end to the running toilet, and tweak that finicky garbage disposal. Though these may seem inconsequential, they can downgrade the overall condition of your home through the eyes of an appraiser and future buyer.
Cosmetic upgrades are always a gamble, but small changes can make a big difference. Things like adding a fresh coat of paint, replacing dated bathroom vanities, and switching to newer fixtures tend to require lower costs and less labor, yet they can have a big impact on the overall value of a home.
3. Crank Up That Curb Appeal
The exterior condition of a home also plays a role in determining its overall value. Appraisal excluded, many buyers will drive by a property first, and a neglected yard can be a disqualifier. The condition of a home’s exterior is often seen as an indication of the condition of its interior.
Not sure where to start? Try resolving smaller issues like loose shingles or clogged gutters. Ensuring that any pathways into your home are clear and well-lit is another simple yet effective task to complete.
Making sure the lawn and accompanying foliage are properly maintained are also great ways to make a home more visually appealing. The most important upgrades consist of making sure that all critical repairs that constitute health and safety related matters are addressed in advance, such as fixing and torn carpets, cracked tiles, and broken windows.
4. Document Improvements
It’s important to keep track of any upgrades or improvements made to the home. The appraiser may not be as familiar with the homes in the neighborhood, so use this as an opportunity to point out any added value in the property. Keep any permits on hand for any additional footage or dwelling space that may have been added to the property.
5. Clean, Clean, Clean
It may sound like a no-brainer, but a home should be spotless for the appraisal. Appraisals are a bit subjective, meaning a clean home will usually rank much better in terms of overall condition than one that an inspector perceives as dirty; clean and uncluttered rooms convey the message that a home is well-maintained. Additionally, not cleaning frequently increases the likelihood of pests and rodents which is something an appraiser will have to consider.
If you are looking to sell or refinance and have any hesitations about preparing for your appraisal, please give us a call at (760) 930-0569 and one of our loan originators will be happy to answer any questions you have.