To get a higher home appraisal, there are a few things you can do to push the numbers up. Here are the best improvements you can make to ensure your home gets the highest appraisal possible.
How are appraisals made?
First, you should know how appraisals are made. Appraisals are based on recent sales prices of comparable properties to your own home. As an unbiased estimate of the fair-market value of your home, an appraisal will tell you what your home is monetarily worth. It’s common practice to conduct an appraisal during the home selling process so that there is an objective way to assess the home’s market value and ensure that the amount of money requested by the borrower is appropriate.
Declutter and Clean
This first and probably easiest way to ensure your house receives a high appraisal is to declutter and deep-clean your home. Not only will this help the appraiser get more accurate measurements, a vital part of any evaluation, but it will make rooms feel larger as well.
How to declutter your home:
- Start by organizing your closets. if you don’t have enough space in your home to put away your things, you may need to rent a temporary storage unit if your closets are inaccessible. An appraiser will need to look at those in addition to the rest of the house.
- Clear any entrance ways to crawlspaces and attics. The appraiser will need to access even the remote areas of the home.
In addition to decluttering, do a deep-clean of your home. This will give the best first impression when the appraiser steps inside, and helps show off the best aspects of your house. If you have stained carpet, dusty windows, dinged-up walls or dirty surfaces, it shows the appraiser that you don’t properly care for your property.
Cleaning tasks for your home:
- Scrub tile, vinyl or wood floors.
- Wash washable wall surfaces and kitchen cabinets.
- Polish furniture and appliances.
- Clean windows inside and out.
If you put in the effort up-front and take care of easily fixable problems prior to the appraisal, you’ll be in a much better position to get a higher value. Touch-up paint, patch holes in the wall, re-caulk tubs or showers and fix leaky faucets.
Do some Landscaping
According to Bankrate, a strong first appearance and curb appeal can add as much as 5 to 10 percent to a home’s value. If your home has a yard, this is an area where you can make a big impact on your home’s valuation, with relatively little effort in comparison to updates to your home’s interior.
Landscaping tasks for your yard:
- Mow your lawn and trim the edges of the yard and any landscaping beds.
- Weed any gardens or beds.
- Plant new plants or shrubs if needed.
- Check your front door. Repair it if you notice any peeling paint or other problems.
- Remove debris and clutter from outdoor areas such as front or back porches.
- Get rid of any spider webs or wasp nests around entryways.
Document Any Fixes You Make
If you have made updates, entire remodels or even just small fixes, make sure you’re documenting everything you do. Whether it’s through before-and-after photos, a detailed spreadsheet of project costs or anything else, an appraiser can use that number to push the final value higher. This is especially important when you’re making structural improvements, such as updating the electrical breaker, rerouting plumbing lines or servicing an HVAC system – while these improvements aren’t as exciting as, say, a kitchen remodel, and incur some additional expenses like hiring an HVAC technician, they can actually robustly increase the final number.
The home appraisal process can be tricky to manage, however, with a can-do attitude, you can make improvements to your house that will dramatically increase the final valuation.
Contact A.D. Hays Group Today to Discuss Your Appraisal Options
Are you looking for a professional home appraisal for an upcoming sale? Contact the experts at A.D. Hays Group today to discuss a number of different options. We’re the leading real estate buyer and seller in Minneapolis, offering clients more than three decades of experience and expertise in appraisal services. No matter where you are in the buying or selling process, send us an e-mail, we’d love to hear from you.