After someone makes an offer to purchase your home, it will need to be appraised in order to determine the value. The reason for this appraisal is to assure the bank that the property is worth at least the amount that you are borrowing for the home. In this way, the bank can be reasonably certain it will be able to get back its money if you default on the loan. While there is no reason to be completely stressed out about the appraisal process, there are a few simple steps that you can take to assure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Tip #1: View Your Home with a Critical Eye
More than likely, you already completed this step before you put your home on the market. After all, looking at your home with a critical eye helps you to find where improvements may be needed in order to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. The same idea is true when preparing for an appraisal. Look for any damage that may need to be repaired, such as a roof leak or loose floor boards, and make any necessary repairs beforehand. You should also take some steps to spruce up the home and create an overall appearance that the property is and always has been well-maintained. This includes repainting walls, installing new faucets and updating any décor that may still be in the home.
Tip #2: Ensure Everything is Working
Before the appraiser steps foot in your home, you should make sure all systems and equipment within your home are working property. This includes heating and air, water and safety equipment such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and home security alarms.
Tip #3: Provide Relevant Information
If you have completed any upgrades or improvements in your home, be sure to share this information with the appraiser. New additions or projects such as replacing siding, gutters or the roof are all improvements that can add value to your property. The same is true of updated bathrooms, remodeled kitchens and improved landscaping.
Tip #4: Maintain Your Yard
Before the appraiser visits your home, be sure to clean up your yard and have it properly manicured. This includes removing dead trees, mowing your grass and trimming all of your trees and shrubbery. You may also want to consider adding some color with flowers and, during the wintertime, you should be sure to clear all snow and ice away from your driveway and walkways. All clutter should also be removed and flowerbeds should be thoroughly weeded and mulched where needed.
Tip #5: Know Your Market
When completing an appraisal, the appraiser will consider the value of homes in your neighborhood that similar to yours. This will include researching the sales prices of homes that recently sold in your neighborhood. It is a good idea for you to conduct this research as well so you can address any concerns or issues that may have an affect on the appraised value of your home.