You’re getting ready to sell your home. Or say you are refinancing. Either way, one major step along the way to selling or refinancing is the home appraisal. The main question behind a home appraisal is: what is my home actually worth? What is the value of the property?
A home appraiser will make the decision on the worth of your house. While this decision may seem to be completely out of your hands and in the home appraiser’s grasp alone, there are things you can do to help make your home appraisal go smoothly and favorably.
- Make sure the appraiser is familiar with the neighborhood
Ideally, you want someone who is local to your town. That way, they are familiar with things like fun, nearby restaurants, parks, or any other neighborhood amenities. If the appraiser is not from nearby, make sure to mention any new additions to the neighborhood, such as a new local grocery store or playground.
- Provide your own comparables
While this is technically the appraiser’s job, it helps to have comparable houses to reference, particularly if these nearby houses were sold without the aid of a realtor. These properties are sometimes delayed in reaching government databases, so the appraiser may not be aware of them.
- Keep a list of updates
If you’ve improved the home in any way or added to its value with home improvements, let the appraiser know. The best way to do this is to provide a clear and organized list. It also helps to have a sketch plan of the house, including square footage.
- Clean up, inside and out
That means vacuuming and washing floors and even includes mowing the lawn. While it may not be necessary to deep clean under couches or wash the walls, be mindful of things like peeling paint and not so clean bathrooms. The house should look presentable. So pick up the toys or magazines lying around. And make sure the outdoor landscaping is neat and tidy before the appraiser comes over.
- Give the appraiser space
Would you want someone following you around your workplace, hovering over you and commenting on your every move? Probably not. So, once you’ve greeted the appraiser and helped to make him or her feel comfortable, with a glass of water or cup of coffee, leave him alone. And keep your pets out of the way, too, since you don’t know if the appraiser has allergies. Most likely, all she wants is to do the job in peace.
As you’re getting ready to sell or refinance, keep in mind these tips as the time for your home appraisal approaches. Don’t put everything off until the last minute, so when the time comes you can relax, knowing you have done everything in your power to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Good luck!