Before you can refinance or sell your home, an independent appraiser must determine its value. Appraisers come to their conclusions by comparing your home to similar properties that have recently sold in the same area. They’ll make price adjustments based on differences in size, condition or features. It might seem scary that so much of your hard work rests on the decision of one person, but we have some tips to help the process go as smoothly as possible, for you and your appraiser.
Have Paperwork Handy
Part of an appraisal is knowing what, if anything, you’ve fixed or improved since owning the home. If you’ve remodeled or made additions that added to the square footage, make sure your appraiser is armed with this information before their appointment to visit, as they’ll need to pull comparable listings that will influence their value assessment. Be prepared with permits and invoices or receipts for any repairs on major components like A/C units, roof replacements, and electrical systems. Some real estate agents even suggest taking before and after photos of improvements as proof of the improvement.
Consider Your Front Yard and Curb Appeal
You probably won’t be able to tackle huge remodeling projects to increase your home’s appraisal value in a matter of days, but small changes to your landscaping may be more plausible. While you don’t want to spend a fortune, there are relatively simple ways to spruce up the front yard or porch without breaking the bank. Stage porches or patios with chic seating, invest in a seasonally appropriate container garden, or add mulch to give flower beds new life. It’s never too late to make a good first impression.
Get Ready for the Visit
While things like location, construction style, square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms—in addition to similar housing in the area—will ultimately determine the appraisal value, it doesn’t hurt to put your home in the best possible light. Put your mind at ease by mopping and vacuuming the floors, and try to keep clutter to a minimum. Remember that the appraiser will need to see the whole house, so make sure kids’ rooms are accessible and everyone in the family knows what to expect.
If you’re in the market to refinance, our knowledgeable loan originators can help. We can answer your questions and concerns, and find the right loan to help you (and your house) live your best life. Give me a call today!