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Tips to prepare for appraisal

August 16, 2021 | Modified: August 17, 2021

If you’re selling or refinancing your house, an appraisal of the value will be necessary. It’s important to prepare for the appraisal of your home. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true market value of a home. A property appraisal provides lenders with an accurate picture of the home’s worth for financing or refinancing purposes. A licensed home appraiser will examine the interior and exterior of your home, taking note of size and condition. The appraiser will also consider current housing market values, as well as homes that recently sold in your neighborhood. After review, the appraiser will submit a report on the value of your home. You’ll want to put your home’s best face forward when it comes to an appraisal to get the best value for financing. Here are tips to help prepare for the appraisal.

What home appraisers look for

  • Property size. This includes square footage and the number and types of rooms, as well as outdoor space. For example, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Interior condition. In addition to general appearance, they will check plumbing and electrical systems, HVAC, etc.
  • Exterior condition. In addition to appearance, they will check the condition of the roof, foundation, and exterior walls/siding, etc.
  • Home improvements. Any work you’ve done on the house to improve the condition/value will be taken into consideration. This might include new flooring or central air.

10 tips to better prepare for appraisal of your home

  1. To begin to prepare for an appraisal, take a walk-around tour of your home, both the interior and exterior. Take note of things that need to be repaired or improved. Be critical with an eye out for damage or disrepair. Make of list of quick fixes and other repairs.
  2. Make any minor repairs and address cosmetic issues as needed. This might include things you found on your own inspection, such as leaky faucets, loose carpeting, a missing handrail, missing light fixtures, loose floorboards, or a much-needed gutter cleaning.
  3. To prepare for an appraisal, clean your home and clear it of all clutter. This includes both inside and out. A thorough cleaning can give your home a fresh look and feel. This includes a power wash of the exterior if needed.
  4. Improve the look of the interior inexpensively with a fresh coat of paint where needed. Make other minor enhancements you think are needed. This might include new hardware for cabinets or replacing a section of damaged flooring.
  5. Improve the curb appeal of your home by trimming bushes and trees, mowing the lawn, clearing clutter, and weeding flower beds. Tidy up and add some flowers if needed to enhance the look. No matter the season, an outdoor clean-up and some minor enhancements can improve the look.
  6. Be sure everything is in proper working order. This includes HVAC, appliances, and all safety equipment, such as smoke alarms, and a security system if you have one.
  7. Share any home improvements and upgrades you’ve made with the appraiser. This might include a new roof, new windows, new HVAC, kitchen, or bath remodel. Provide the appraiser with a detailed list.
  8. Be polite. Be available when the appraiser is on-site to answer any questions and provide requested information.
  9. Keep your pets in a separate area while the appraiser is inspecting your home.
  10. Provide easy access to all areas of the home. Turn on lights and open doors.

The above tips are helpful to best prepare for an appraisal. The minor repairs and fixes we mention should not cost a ton of money. If you face a larger repair, you may want to talk to a professional to see if it is worth the cost. That may depend on if your goal is selling or refinancing. We don’t suggest embarking on a major remodel or costly repair unless it is suggested by an expert.

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