Planning to sell your property or refinance your mortgage this year? Our real estate agents usually recommend an appraisal as a good first step. Knowing your home's true value can ultimately help you land more money when you sell (though keep in mind, that the buyer's lender will likely require their own appraisal). An appraisal is also required if you're planning to refinance.
While the home appraisal process is actually fairly simple, it is in every homeowner's best interest to do everything possible to maximize the appraised value. Spending time on home improvement projects can help you realize a higher return. Here are some simple ways you can prepare for your appraisal.
- Do Your Own Inspection
Starting with your own home inspection is the best way to uncover problems and fix them before the appraisal. Do a thorough walkthrough and examine everything. Look for any leaks, signs of roof damage, cracked flooring, missing siding, or anything that might make an appraiser pause. As a general rule, minor damage or dated elements usually take a $500 hit on the appraisal, so fix what you can.
- Make Your Home Shine
Prior to listing a home (and the appraisal), make sure to clean like you have never cleaned before! This includes both the interior and the exterior. Go through each room and declutter, shampoo your carpets, and clean your windows and baseboards. You may even want to consider hiring professional cleaners. On your exterior, power wash your siding and remove any debris from your yard. If you need some cleaning inspiration, check out these spotless Holland homes for sale.
- Upgrade Your Appliances
If you have dated appliances, upgrading to new stainless-steel models can make a great impression on appraisers and buyers, which can result in a higher home value. You'd be surprised how much of a difference a new refrigerator, dishwasher, or oven can make when it comes time to sell.
- Don't Neglect Your Landscaping
Your appraiser will spend a good bit of time examining your exterior, so make sure your landscaping is in good shape. Mow the lawn, weed the garden, and trim trees and shrubs. Good landscaping is a great way to make a solid first impression.
- Highlight Your Upgrades
During the process, make sure you let your appraiser know about any recent upgrades you've made. This could include roof replacements or repairs, a new furnace or hot water tank, updated siding, or any kitchen or bathroom renovations. You'll want to be sure your effort is reflected in the appraisal.
- Do Some Local Research
Your own neighborhood can provide a wealth of information about local home values. Check out the recent sale prices on some similar-sized nearby homes. This can give you a frame of reference when it comes to your own appraisal. Additionally, if there are new local amenities, such as stores, restaurants, or schools, it might be worth telling your appraiser so he or she can factor that into their analysis.
When it comes to a home appraisal, a little extra work can go a long way towards boosting your property value. If you're planning to list your home on the market this year, contact us today.