by Courtney Soinski
Are you ready to refinance or sell your home? If you answered yes, then it’s time to get your home appraised in order to define its true value in the current real estate market.
How does a home appraisal work?
On the day of your scheduled visit, a licensed home appraiser will evaluate your home by going from room to room, assessing its condition. He will also take upgrades into account and do a comparison of other homes in your neighborhood. In the end, you’ll get an appraiser’s report. If you’re selling, you can use this document to decide your asking price. If you’re refinancing, you’ll now be able to determine how much equity you have.
Before the appraiser comes knocking at your door, however, you need to be prepared. The higher your appraisal value the better, so we have put together a list of tasks to complete beforehand.
Make any repairs necessary
If your home needs any small repairs at the time of the appraisal, that will have a negative impact on your outcome. Make sure all door latches and handles work properly, carpet does not look worn out (replace if necessary), plumbing is operable, and all windows work effectively. Not fixing these can make your home look older than it really is, so do everything you can to avoid that.
Update light fixtures
If the light fixtures throughout your home are worn and outdated, then it’s a good idea to update them before the appraiser arrives. Don’t spend too much in this category, though!
Freshen up walls
Depending on how long you’ve lived in your current home, there are probably some chips and holes in your walls. They may also be a little faded. Freshen up these areas with some spackle and a new coat of paint.
Enhance curb appeal
The front of your house is the first thing the appraiser will see when pulling into the driveway, so it should be dressed to impress. First, look at the outside of your home as a whole – do you see any peeling paint, damaged gutters, siding, bricks, or mortar? Address all these issues. Then tackle the lawn by mowing, trimming, and cleaning up and weeds or dead plants. Make sure all tools or equipment are out of sight. The front porch and driveway should also be free of any debris like leaves and sticks.
Prepare your home for an appraiser like you would for an interested buyer. Make any updates or repairs necessary, clean everything, and keep track of all the updates that you’ve made. A licensed appraiser will take everything into consideration in determining your home’s true market value.
Allasio, John. “How to Prepare for a Home Appraisal.” Zing! By QuickenLoans 18 Apr. 2013. 11 Sep. 2015 <http://www.quickenloans.com/blog/home-appraisals-prepare>