The Complete Guide That Makes Improving Your Home Appraisal Value Easy
In 2021, an estimated 20% of home appraisal values came in lower than the seller’s asking price or buyer’s offer. Oftentimes, a low home appraisal value can make it difficult for a buyer to secure a larger loan. This can slow down the sales process or bring it to a halt, altogether.
What factors are taken into consideration during a home appraisal? Some factors, like the square footage of your home and its age, aren’t quite in your control. Others, such as the state of the roof, the on-sight amenities, and even the appearance, are.
If you’re worried about an upcoming home appraisal, there are a few steps you can take to secure a higher value. While some may require a minor financial investment, others simply require time and effort.
Read on for our complete guide to the easy, quick, and cost-effective steps you can take to boost your home appraisal value.
Gather Evidence of Your Maintenance and Updates
What investments have you made into your property in the last two to three years? Maybe you’ve had the roof repaired or the gutters replaced. Maybe you made a few renovations to your kitchen or turned a half bath into a full bath.
Before your home appraiser arrives, make sure to gather any documents that detail not only the upgrades you’ve made but also how much they cost. Keep in mind that there are no specific improvements that will recoup 100% of the costs. However, there are certain repairs and renovations that should help to raise your appraisal value, so it’s helpful to point those out.
Clean Like Your Wallet Depends On It
A good home appraiser is able to enter any property and assess it as though it were empty. In other words, they shouldn’t be knocking down the value of your home because your countertops are cluttered with mail.
That being said, it’s still worth your time to give your home a deep cleaning before your appraisal. Wash the windows, clean the bathrooms, dust the baseboards–show that your home is well taken care of. If possible, try to clean any appliances so that they’re closer to like-new condition, even if they’re several years old.
Make Minor Improvements to Your Interior
Go around your home and keep an eye out for minor imperfections. Look for things like uneven or faded paint, loose fixtures like light switch covers and cabinet handles, and the like.
The goal, here, is to assess any imperfections that you can fix or improve on your own. Maybe you can get that stain out of the carpet or nail that baseboard back into place. Maybe you can give the dining room a fresh coat of paint or remove the tarnish from the overhead light fixtures.
Make sure that you’re only taking on the projects you know you can tackle. If there’s a chance of making something worse by trying to fix it, yourself, leave it alone.
Clean Up the Yard
When you’re selling your home, you’re going to hear the term “curb appeal” quite a bit. Curb appeal refers to the first impression your home gives off from the outside. It refers to things like exterior paint and hardscaping but also to the state of your yard.
If a home appraiser pulls up and finds that your lawn is overtaken by weeds or your garden is packed to the brim with dead plants, they’re going to make assumptions about what else they might find. The good news is that this is an easy fix and, as long as you have the tools, won’t cost a dime.
Start by mowing the lawn. Then, assess any plants you have growing in your yard, trimming or removing things as needed. The goal is to leave your yard looking tidy, so don’t worry about adding things like potted plants for the home appraiser’s benefit.
Touch Up the Exterior
Another way to boost your curb appeal is to touch up the exterior of your home. This is not unlike the recommendation we made earlier to make minor improvements inside.
Could your exterior use a fresh coat of paint? What about the shutters and front door? Is your mailbox in good condition or would it benefit you to replace it–or, at the very least, clean it up?
Once again, assess the tools at your disposal and your skillset. Don’t try to take on the big projects, such as roof repair, on your own. Stick to the small improvements that you can make with some paint and a toolbox.
Weigh the Value of Hiring Contractors
Is your property in need of bigger repairs that you can’t complete on your own? Some examples of property damage that will lower your home appraisal value include damage to the roof, foundation, plumbing, and electrical wiring. Is it worth it to hire contractors to fix those issues?
As we mentioned earlier, no home improvement project has a 100% ROI in the real estate market. Ultimately, you’re going to pay a contractor more than you’re going to recoup.
If your property is in dire need of repairs that you don’t want to make, consider working with these folks. They’ll provide you with a quick and easy property value assessment and a cash offer for your property regardless of the condition.
Don’t Let a Low Home Appraisal Value Slow Down Your Home Sale
The housing market is working in favor of sellers right now, but that doesn’t protect all sellers from a low home appraisal value. Use our guide to make quick and cost-effective improvements that will help increase your home appraisal value and speed up your sale.
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