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7 Tips on How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal

Moder interior of home expertly staged and decorated

7 Tips on How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal

Now that you have decided to put your home up for sale, one of the next things you need to think about is its appraisal. Appraising your home helps you determine its market value which may play a role in assisting you in setting a fair, desired asking price for the property. One of the ways you can increase your chances of maximizing your home's assessed value is by properly preparing it for appraisal. Here are 7 quick recommended tips to help you nail the appraisal of your home.


1. Get organized

You will be more productive if you properly plan your approach to getting prepared for the appraisal. As simple as it sounds, make a plan first even if it means just generating a checklist of things you would like to repair before the appraisal date.  Set a realistic calendar and goals, as an example, you can commit to working on those tasks one or 2 days a week. This makes the preparation process less daunting and increases the likelihood that you will get all the tasks completed before the date of the appraisal visit.


2. Improve the curb appeal

Ideally, you would want a prospective buyer to fall in love with your property the minute they lay eyes on your property. The same applies to your appraiser. You want him/her to develop a positive image and attitude about your home before they even set foot inside your home. That is the power of curb appeal. Make sure your home looks its best from the street. Sweep or hose down the sidewalk, power-wash your driveway, rake your lawn, plant new trees or prune existing ones, replace dead grass, add landscape lighting, paint your front door, touch up any chipping paint and clean your windows. These efforts will go a long way in improving curb appeal.


3. Make quick fixes

Simple fixes will go a long way to help ensure you get a high appraisal. Things such as repairing faulty cabinets, repairing damaged running toilets, and doing paint touch-ups will improve the overall condition of your home, and provide a great first impression for your home during the appraisal visit, which will have a positive effect on the appraised value of your home.


4. Deep clean your home

A deep clean before the appraisal ensures that your home again provides a favorable first impression by being clean, smelling fresh, and inviting.  When performing the deep cleaning, pay attention to areas such as corners of ceilings and cabinet interiors. Don't forget to scrub off scuff from your walls and remove any stains from your carpets. The deep cleaning should not be limited to the interior of your home. Make equally certain that you thoroughly clean the exterior of your home. Wipe down the outsides of windows, clean the gutters, and power wash the sides of your house.


5. Declutter your home

You want prospective buyers to imagine and envision living in your space. That exercise is best conducted in a space that is uncluttered and free of unnecessary items that take up space, make the space look less inviting, appear smaller, and are less malleable to fit their needs. The same applies to your appraiser. Declutter and give your home a sense of expansiveness, openness, and an invitation to dream.


6. Give the appraiser a pleasant visit

Treat the appraisal the same way you would a private showing to a buyer. Do everything you can to make the appraiser comfortable. If it is hot, turn on the air conditioner. Make sure your pets are on a leash before the appraiser arrives. Creating a pleasant and friendly environment will make your appraiser feel comfortable and welcome.


7. Don't forget the $500 rule

Damaged tile floors, broken doors, old wallpaper, and outdated bathroom vanity may cause deductions against the home’s value in increments of $500 each. And the more of these small issues your appraiser finds, the more it adds up which may quickly result in the loss of thousands in your home's value. The rule of thumb is you should always take care of problems that cost $500 or less to fix before the appraisal takes place. By doing that, you will have avoided unnecessary and easily preventable loss of value against your home value during the appraisal.

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