January 20th, 2021
7 Ways to Increase the Appraisal Value of Your Home
In this article, we are going to be sharing tips to help you increase the appraisal value of your home.
The best way to increase your home's appraisal value is to understand what home appraisers are looking for when they are valuing your home and make those adjustments.
Let's take a look at seven ways to increase home appraisal value so that the sale of your house goes as smoothly as possible.
What a Home Appraiser Does
A home appraiser is tasked with determining the current fair market value of a property. When you have put your house on the market and accepted an offer, the lender providing financing for the buyer wants to ensure that your home is worth as much money as the buyer is borrowing.
These are professionals who are hired to look objectively at a property. For these reasons, you should not expect them to react emotionally to features in the way that you might hope that a prospective buyer will.
What Do Home Appraiser Looks For
A home appraiser is looking at your house stripped of all of your personal items. They care about the house that the new buyer will be moving into, not the home that you have created there. They are essentially looking at the condition and quality of the "bones" of the house.
A home appraiser will look at many things including both the exterior and the interior of the house. They will record the layout of the property and visually confirm its condition. They will inspect the foundation, siding, outdoor amenities, groups, and exterior paint. Outdoor amenities include swimming pools, landscaping, and sprinkler systems.
Inside your house, the appraiser will assess each room one at a time. They will take a look at the condition, quality, and material of all appliances, fixtures, plumbing, flooring, and more.
Additional things that home appraisers will look for inside your house are cabinetry, lighting fixtures, air conditioning unit, the quality of the interior paint, basement finish, fireplaces, countertops, furnace, and electrical systems.
When Does a Home Appraisal Happen?
The home appraisal is a critical step in the home selling process. Getting a home appraisal is how the lender confirms that the sale price is appropriate. It is important for the seller to secure the best home appraisal value that they can in order to get the best price for the property.
After you have accepted an offer on your home and the house had been inspected, the home appraisal typically occurs. The buyer pays for the appraisal and are also probably responsible for arranging its occurrence.
An appraisal report is generally sent right to the lender. If you want a report to also be sent to you usually have to ask as it typically does not happen automatically.
The price of a home appraisal depends on location and your property type. On average, it costs between $300 and $400, but a larger property can cost more.
What Happens When the Home Appraises For Less Than the Sale Price?
Both the buyer and seller don't want the sale price to be higher than the home appraisal value. This is because the lender will loan homebuyers a certain percentage of the property price. They will gauge the property price by whichever value is lower between the appraised value and the sales price.
The lender will likely reduce the loan amount as the property appraises for less than the sales price. This can setback or even cancel a deal. Whether or not a buyer or seller can walk away at this point has to do with if there was a contingency in the contract.
The buyer might try to negotiate with the seller in order to buy the house for a lower sales price. They also might put down a higher down payment in order to buy the house for the same sales price but with a smaller loan amount.
It is always possible to dispute an appraisal if it comes in lower-than-expected. You can talk to your real estate agent about the comparable sales that were used and whether or not you can submit additional comps.
Improve Your Curb Appeal
One of the things that is recommended when you're trying to increase the value of your home is to boost your curb appeal.
While what you just to the outside of your house aesthetically won't change what the appraiser the on the interior, creating a great first impression is always a good way to set the right mood when the appraiser pulled into the driveway.
One of the easiest things you can do in this regard is to make sure that your yard is well-kept, lush, and green. A brown and dry lawn can be an indication to both homebuyers into the appraiser that the property was not as well-maintained as it should have been.
You should make sure that all shrubs are bushes are pruned and trimmed. You do not want it to look like your yard and landscaping are overgrown.
You can also spruce up your front door and porch. These are the first things that both prospective buyers and appraisers will notice when they approach your home. A cluttered porch or a front door with peeling paint can be an indication of a lack of maintenance.
There are a number of ways that you can improve your curb appeal. Making sure that your driveway and garage are clean and aesthetically pleasing, improving your landscaping, adding outer lighting, and power washing and repainting the exterior of your house are all things I can put your curb appeal.
Create the Right Atmosphere
While an appraiser is not approaching your home emotionally in the same way that a buyer might, they are still human and will be impacted by the atmosphere of the home.
If your home seems cramped, dark, and cluttered, you are not setting the right atmosphere. You want to allow as much natural light as possible into the house and de-clutter the rooms as much as possible. If you're going to invest in painting your home be sure to choose the best paint colors to increase the value of your home.
If you have any oversights furniture in your home that makes your house seem small, you might consider putting this furniture into storage.
Another thing that impacts the atmosphere of your home is the color of the walls. There are few things that can spruce up a room as easily and quickly as a fresh coat of paint. You'll probably want to stick with neutral and mild colors, however.
It's important to understand that it is a part of the home appraiser's job to be as objective as possible. These are professionals who are less likely to be swayed by emotional and aesthetic aspects. That being said, the vibrant atmosphere of your home will impact anyone who walks in and it's important to make a good impression on the appraiser.
Take a Look at Your Home's Exterior
Are there missing and lifted shingles, damaged siding, or other noticeable damage to the exterior of your house? Buyers will likely notice this, and appraisers will as well. It is worth getting in touch with a professional as soon as you can to fix any siding issues you might find.
These types of exterior issues to your siding or your roof can lead to costly repairs later on. They also will negatively impact both the value of your home and its appearance.
Document All of the Upgrades You've Made
If you've been living in your home for a long time, you might have been upgrading aspects of the house over the years. You'll want to document all of these upgrades that you made including the dates and the cost.
Even if something seems like a small upgrade, like getting a new dishwasher or replacing old countertops, the types of things can impact add value to your home. Having the documentation to show when you did these things and how much they cost can help prove how much your house is worth.
Something you want to consider before making upgrades, whether you're upgrading your kitchen or putting in a new bathroom, is that hiring a reputable contractor and acquiring all necessary permits is an important part of upgrades increasing your home value. This can give buyers the confidence that they need to make an offer.
Deep Clean Your Home
It is the job of an appraiser to ignore any aspects of a home that are aesthetic and don't impact how the home will be received by the buyer as a clean slate. However, in reality, you should make your home as inviting as possible by deep cleaning.
Remember, you want to make it so the time that the appraiser expense in your home is as pleasant as possible. Even though these things shouldn't impact the value of your home appraisal, you are not doing yourself any favors by bringing the appraiser into a dirty and cluttered house.
Fix Small Imperfections
Anyone who owns a home likely has a to-do list that I haven't gotten around to completing. If you are going to have your house appraised, now is the time to take care of small repairs.
If you have a dripping faucet, gutters in need of repair, feeling linoleum, or broken hardware, you want to fix things for the appraiser. It is much more preferable to take care of these issues rather than receiving a list from the appraiser of the things that caused negative marks. In that instance, you might have to fix issues and then hire him out once again.
Consider Going Green
While it might not be the most exciting type of upgrade to make, buying energy-efficient appliances and doing anything that will help to conserve energy in your home are great ways to increase your home appraisal value.
When you invest in energy-efficient upgrades, this means that your energy bills will be much lower. Basically, the savings that people will have from your upgrades will result in an increased appraisal value.
Bonus Tips to Increase Home Appraisal Value:
If you are selling your house, you will not be the one that you did your appraiser. Instead, it will be the lender thank that makes a selection. If you're lucky, they will hire somebody who knows your neighborhood well.
However, it might happen that the appraiser is unfamiliar with your area. If you live in a desirable neighborhood, you will want to ensure that the appraiser understands that. You might find 3 to 6 comparable properties in your neighborhood that have recently sold to provide to the appraiser.
You can also mention newly built museums, restaurants, parks, and upscale shopping centers near your home. You also might consider providing information about the school district if your neighborhood is in a desirable school system.
All that being said, the appraiser isn't there to chat with you. They have a job to do which is to determine the value of your home. You don't want to pester them, follow them around, or not them with infinite questions.
You want to be prepared so that you can answer in a detailed and honest way if the appraiser has any questions. It's important to be open to answering any and all questions as it relates to your home!
Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.