Congratulations! You’re in the process of selling your home, and now comes a very important step: having it appraised to determine its fair market value. Easy, right? The appraiser will simply show up, be wowed by your property, and intrinsically understand its worth.
Not so fast. You — and your real estate agent — need to advocate for your property one last time before its sale can be complete. To prepare for real estate appraisals, employ these tips and tricks to ensure that your home is properly appraised.
What You See Is What You Get
Take a look around your home through the most neutral eyes possible and compare its current condition to how it was staged for your real estate listing pictures. You’ll need to similarly wow your appraiser — letting the value of your home shine through. Consider performing the following:
- Mow your lawn and weed your flower beds. Good curb appeal will leave a favorable memory in your appraiser’s mind.
- Make your rooms as clutter-free as possible on appraisal day.
- Fix any small issues that are outstanding — reattach electrical faceplates, tighten door handles, re-cement a loose tile, buff your stainless steel appliances, or touch up dings on woodwork.
As Far As The Eye Can See
Many home improvement projects lurk beneath the surface of your home or may not be readily apparent during real estate appraisals. Create a list of all of the work you’ve done on your home, from cosmetic updates to structural issues. Important areas include:
- Electrical/wiring work: Has your older home undergone a modernization update, or have you redone the flow of electricity through your home to meet modern standards? This is a big deal for the value of your home.
- Plumbing and gas lines: Have you performed either major (replaced main lines, plumbed home for natural gas) or minor (redesigned bathroom, reworked gas stove piping) plumbing work? This is a major investment that can upgrade your home value.
- Lead paint or asbestos remediation: Homes built before the 1980s are often rife with both lead paint and/or asbestos. If you’ve had these items addressed and remediated in your home, let your appraiser know.
- Home/room additions: Have you constructed a new room or converted (for example) an attic into living space? Ensure that your appraiser knows that those new spaces exist and haven’t been factored into prior appraisals.
- New appliances: The appliances that you’ll leave behind — refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, water heater, furnace — can help up your value if they’ve been newly replaced.
- Roof: The cost of a new roof is significant. If your home sports a newer roof, ensure it gets factored into your home value.
Location, Location, Location
The neighborhood or subdivision you live in can have a huge impact on your property value. Are you in an up-and-coming area, with many older homes undergoing upgrades? That’ll help boost your property value. Are fabulous public or private schools nearby? Another bonus. How about proximity to the rail lines or major highways to make commuting easier?
While your appraiser will do all that research, you can help add more context. You — through your agent — can pull comps in your neighborhood so you can show your appraiser how location has affected other properties, while pointing out reasons that your property is more unique or valuable by comparison.
Have the Last Word
Your home appraisal is the last time you’ll get to brag about your home before selling. Make sure you do your homework and get in the last word, so your DFW home is appraised appropriately.
Image Source: Flickr/Steven Martin