Improving Value: Ways to Prepare Your House for Appraisal

Posted on

A real estate appraisal is your first step to a purchase agreement that lasts with a buyer. Remember that if a house appraises for less than the offered price, buyers may not be able to secure financing. In order to maximize the value of your home and help move the sale along, here are some things you can do to make sure your house appraises high. 

1. Finish unfinished projects. 

Your first step to getting a great price and keeping good offers on your home is to finish renovation projects before listing. For example, if you have mostly finished your basement, but are missing moldings or still have an open ceiling, finish these projects completely. Don't leave cabinets half painted or finishes half changed. Try to make your home as cohesive and move-in ready as your budget will allow. 

2. Improve exterior landscaping. 

The exterior condition of your home drastically affects appraisal. Do not store junk on your property. Have things like old tires, car parts, farm machinery, scrap metal, trash cans, and other such items hauled off before trying to sell your home. Remove overgrown bushes and trim back unruly trees. If you have fencing, try to repair places that might be rotten or sagging. A coat of paint will also make a difference on exterior structures like garden sheds or detached garages. 

3. Replace outdated hardware and fixtures. 

Even though your home may not be fully updated, you can help to improve the appearance by removing old fixtures and replacing them with new items. This is especially important to do for things that aren't working properly, such as flickering chandeliers or gas lamps that no longer serve the home. If these items are present but are in disrepair or not functional, they will harm your overall appraisal. If you have any windows that aren't opening, glass that is cracked, or locks that are broken, replace these as well. 

4. Wait to sell in some circumstances. 

There are some factors that affect your home's appraisal value that you cannot control. If your house is next to a home that has a lot of junk in the backyard or has a bad smell, the value of your home may go down. Similarly, if your street has had short sales or foreclosures recently, this can affect your overall value as well. If you have neighbors who are planning on selling their homes or if you know that the house next to you has been purchased and is being cleaned up or if your neighbors are undertaking renovations, wait until they have finished their work to list your home for sale. 

To learn more about real estate appraisal, contact a professional near you.