While a home appraisal is a normal part of the closing process, it's common for sellers to be a bit nervous about the outcome. The purpose of an appraisal is to gain an independent third-party valuation of your property. Naturally, sellers want the appraised value to come back as high as possible. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer price, then you may need to return to the negotiating table to determine who is going to cover the difference, which could ultimately eat into your return.
While a good portion of your appraisal will be based on recent sales of nearby homes, some of the assessment is subjective. Therefore, doing everything you can to make a good impression can impact the outcome. Our real estate agents suggest these tips for preparing for your home appraisal.
- Put Yourself In A Buyer's Shoes
It's easy to overlook defects and blemishes when you spend every day in your home, but many small issues will stick out to outside parties. Go through your home with a critical eye and look at it from the appraiser's or buyer's perspective. You'll want to make sure to take care of the small stuff: replace light bulbs, repair broken doorknobs, and fix any leaks. Large issues deduct an average of $500 from your appraised value.
- Clean From Top To Bottom
You want your home to appear and smell clean during your appraisal, so clean like you've never cleaned before. Scrub every nook and cranny, shampoo the carpets, and dust every surface. Don't forget to clean and powerwash the exterior too! You may even want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company to make your home really shine.
- Work On Your Landscaping
Remember, your appraisal is an assessment of your entire property, so you'll want your yard in top shape too. Mow your grass, trim your shrubs, and eliminate any debris. Focus on improving your curb appeal by painting your front door and porch, adding new sidewalk lighting, and planting some flowers. If you need some inspiration on how to make the most of your facade, check out these Holland homes for sale.
- Talk To Your Neighbors
If you have any neighbors who recently moved in, speak to them about their experience with the appraisal process. Ask about any major issues that led to deductions in home value. You might be able to learn from their experience and resolve issues before they impact the appraisal.
- Notify The Appraiser About New Appliances Or Upgrades
Make sure to let the appraiser know about any recent investments you've made in the property. Things like kitchen appliances may be visible and apparent, but if you recently replaced your sewer line or had the roof or chimney repaired, it might be worth calling it out.
Determining a home's value is an important part of a real estate transaction. We always recommend sellers take steps to improve your appraised value, as it could ultimately help you earn as much as possible on your home sale. If you're thinking about putting your home on the market, contact us today.