When you’re selling a house, one of the most important steps in the process is the appraisal. The appraisal determines your home’s final value and whether or not it is worth the asking price.
To ensure that you get the most out of your investment, it’s important to do your due diligence before you put your house on the market. Make sure you give yourself time to find and fix any potential problems before they are found by an appraiser during their inspection. This can raise the value of your property significantly. Not sure where to get started? Check out these tips from real estate expert Shantele Marcum.
The first thing you should do before preparing your home for an appraisal is to fix up any major issues. If there are problems that will hold your home back from selling at its true value, you need to address those items immediately.
For example, if your carpet is stained and dirty, you may need to have it cleaned or replaced. If your dishwasher or another major appliance is broken, make sure to have that fixed as well. All major electrical and plumbing issues should also be fixed prior to the assessment.
Major problems can lower the appraiser’s opinion of your home and may lead them to believe that there are other major issues with your home that you’re not aware of. They will note these issues as potential problems and lower the overall value of your property.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for an appraisal is to make sure that there are no distractions. Clutter is visually distracting and can make rooms feel smaller, older, darker, and less well-cared for.
Make sure that your countertops are clear, pictures are hung straight, and there is nothing out of place, advises Shantele Marcum. There should be nothing staring the appraiser in the face but your home’s best features. It can feel like a small issue, but you can only make a first impression once, and the appraiser’s first impression can drastically affect the value of your home.
Another great way to prepare your home for an appraisal is by updating the look of your home. You want to make sure that you’re giving potential buyers a “wow” factor when they walk in the door. This could be done with paint, furniture, or something as simple as changing out the window coverings, says Shantele Marcum.
Attention to details like these tells the appraiser that you take care of your home. And a well-maintained home means that it will sustain less damage and last longer, which increases the value.
Before you schedule your appraisal, make sure that all the repairs have been done and the house is in move-in-ready condition. This can take a lot of work, but it’s well worth it in the end, encourages Shantele Marcum.
Go through each room and address any repairs that need to be made. For example, if there are any holes in the walls, they would need to be patched up or painted over. If you have broken light fixtures or appliances, these would need to be replaced before the inspection. They don’t have to look perfect, but they should still meet basic standards.
Just ask yourself, “Would I want to buy this house as is?” And work until the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”