Having your property appraised can be a stressful process. Taking appropriate steps beforehand will help you receive a more appropriate and accurate appraisal. Listed below are a few pointers on how you can get a better appraisal on your property.
Know Your Area
The value of your property is not calculated based on the home itself, but also its neighborhood and proximity to other notable establishments. Reflect on any improvements to your neighborhood in recent years, such as parks or budding businesses. Being aware of nearby shopping malls, entertainment facilities, successful schools, medical facilities, and other attractions can help improve the value of your home.
Improve Your Curb Appeal
Though judging by appearances is frowned upon, the behavior is commonplace. Even if you’ve put immense work into the interior of your home, making sure the external features are attractive makes a difference in the perceived value of the property. Enhancing your curb appeal can entail something as simple as installing new house numbers or painting the trim around your front door. A little goes a long way.
Take Care of Minor Repairs
Even if you’ve been holding off on fixing a creaky hinge or chipped paint, before an appraiser visits is the time to actually do it. Appraisers typically calculate the value of a property in $500 increments, and the smallest flaws and fixes may decrease their estimate. It’s better to spend the money and complete any necessary repairs rather than have the value of your property suffer as a result.
Know where repairs really count. According to a study conducted by a professor of real estate, repairs and renovations made to the kitchen and bathroom of a home are the most influential when it comes to appraisal value. This doesn’t mean you should neglect any other needed repairs, but rather you might be wise to focus on those areas if you want a higher estimate.
Keep careful track of all the money you invested into your home, especially for things like repairs, renovations, and other structural or aesthetic work. Collecting receipts and other significant documents will help you show an appraiser how much work you put into the improvement of your home, and having that concrete evidence will validate your claims and ensure an accurate and better valued appraisal.
Embrace Comfort & Cleanliness
When the appraiser visits, you want them to be comfortable. Account for the outside temperature and make sure that there are no foul odors, messes, or clutter present in the home. If you have any pets, making sure they are kept outside (weather-permitting) or with someone willing to take care of them can help improve the visit. Tidying up can make your space look bigger, and it also demonstrates that you are concerned with appearances and want to make a good impression.
That being said, be careful not to overdo it. Hospitality is one thing, but you don’t want to hover over the appraiser and make them suspect something is wrong with the property. Answer questions as needed, but otherwise, let them conduct their work in peace.
These tips do not provide a guarantee that your appraisal will be lucrative. Still, taking steps to prepare can show your appraiser that you have done significant work to improve your property, leading to a better appraisal.