An appraiser is a neutral party hired to estimate the value of your home. There is not much you can do to influence the value of the home based on location and the value of surrounding properties, but there are small things you can do that add up to affect the appraiser’s final estimate.
The condition of the home significantly influences the estimate. You can affect the way the appraiser views the home by ensuring that it is as tidy as possible. A clean space has a subtle impact on the way the appraiser values your home. Be sure to thoroughly dust and polish every surface area. Pay special attention to floors and baseboards. Use a foam cleaning eraser to easily remove scuffmarks from the walls. Check the carpet for spots, and remove any obvious stains or move furniture to cover them. These little details can make a big impression.
Your appraiser will need to be able to see every detail of the house. Decluttering your home makes it easier to see all the features that make your home special. Rent a storage facility to stow any excess furniture and materials that clutter floor space. You want your appraiser to be able to comfortably walk around the house and into attic and basement spaces.
Landscaping is a powerful tool that allows you to significantly increase the value of your home for very little investment. According to the United States Forest Service, improving the landscape of your home by planting trees and flowers can increase the value of your property by ten percent. Cleaning up around the exterior of your home also increases curb appeal. An act as simple as pressure washing the driveway and the exterior walls of the home will give an appraiser the right impression before even entering the front door.
Nothing looks as bad to an appraiser as a home with signs of neglect. Be sure to carefully review your home for any minor damages, and make repairs accordingly. Home appraisers look for peeling paint, leaky faucets, missing doors and molding, nail holes, and cracked windows. Making these repairs is inexpensive, and you can even buy windows online
Comfort is Key
If your appraiser is comfortable, they can concentrate on making an accurate estimate. Eliminate any nuisances before the appraiser arrives. Board your pet with a friend or local business. A constantly barking dog can quickly become annoying. Be sure to adjust the thermostat according to the season. This will keep your appraiser comfortable and show that your heating or cooling system is in perfect working order.
Treat the experience as if you are trying to sell your home to the appraiser. Mention any improvements that you have made since owning the home. Stress any features of the home that add to the overall energy efficiency. You can’t change the location of the home, but you can tell the appraiser about any new businesses or amenities that may increase the value. If a museum just opened up around the corner, this can have an impact on the value of homes in the neighborhood.
Image Credit: beccaxsos