Many people are under the false impression that there isn’t much to do to help their property come in at the high end of its potential appraised value. The reality is, there are quite a few things a homeowner can do.
Appearance. While appraisers don’t give out grades for stellar housekeeping, the appearance of the home during the appraisal can have some influence. A clean, clutter-free house can appraise up to 10% higher than a comparable but messy house. Further, if a home’s interior suggests a lack of care the appraiser may feel that the general maintenance has also been neglected. Rule of thumb: Have the house – inside and outside – in the same “parade-ready” shape it was during showings and the inspection.
Improvements. Generally, a printed listing of improvements and best features of the house accompanies the showing details and seller disclosures. Have this paperwork for the appraiser too.
Absent. An appraiser needs no more than an hour or so to view the property, so plan to be gone during this time, or at least leave the appraiser alone with minimal distractions. Often, you can welcome the appraiser to your home, give him or her info to help them in their work, and then disappear.
Neighborhood comparables. It helps the appraiser by giving him or her all information you know about with other similar sales in the neighborhood. It will save them some work, and insure that the appraiser is getting price information from houses that are similar to yours.
$500 guidelines. Appraisers often appraise homes in $500 increments. They also take this into consideration if a repair or upgrade is required – or has been done. This means leaky faucets, cracked windows and other things can have a significant financial impact to the appraised value.