The home appraisal is the process of re-evaluating or revaluing your property to determine the market value either because you want to put the house up for sale or because you want to refinance your mortgage. When you put up your property for sale, you want to have it appraised by a professional as this will give you a fair idea of how much your property is worth.
Financial institutions giving out loans order a home appraisal to ensure the value of the house they are taking as collateral is equal or more than the amount they are providing as a loan. The evaluation helps lenders to avoid losing money if they decide to sell off the property due to failure by the borrower to pay up at the specified time, also known as foreclosure. A certified professional handles a home appraisal and usually has years of training and experience. After the assessment, the expert is expected to give an unbiased opinion about the value of your property. Some things would present your house in a better light and impact on how valuable your property is.
Fix All Damaged Safety Equipment
Ensure all safety equipment that is not working is fixed before the day of appraisal, as lack of these would make you lose points during the inspection. Ensure safety equipment like smoke alarms, security alarms, water heater straps among others are present and functional in your property.
Document Your Renovations
Inform your home appraiser of recent renovations you may have done on the property, the time when you did them and the cost of such repairs. The appraiser might not notice all the changes since it’s not their house, which is why you should bring it to their notice.
A Little Touch Up
Houses with cracked walls, a leaking roof, water-stained walls, signs of pest infestation, damaged floors, or moldy smell will get valued at a lesser amount. Repaint your walls, replace your leaking roof, fix any broken kitchen cabinet, change the doorknobs and generally improve on the appearance of your property. Also, take a walk around and assess the visual appeal yourself to know the things that need fixing ahead of time.
The $500 Rule
Appraisers value property in $500 increments. To be assessed at a higher amount, it’s better to have things like broken doors, damaged floors, old wallpaper, leaky faucets, broken windows repaired immediately. By doing this, you will recover the amount you spent on such repairs in your home appraisal report.
Check Your Yard
You want to take a walk outside your property and do a thorough scan of what might devalue your property, and have it fixed before the home appraiser arrives. Keep your grass and shrubs neat, add some colorful flowers, remove dried leaves littering the yard and whatever clutter will make your yard less attractive. Houses with a welcoming curb appeal receive better appraisals and are considered more valuable in the market.
Your seller's agent can help you prepare for your appraisal so heed their advice.