Jennifer has a great post on how to get that "great" appraisal for the home you are selling. All sellers, this is a must read and good luck with that appraisal showing!
The appraiser was due in an hour. The beds were unmade, breakfast dishes in the sink and toys scattered all over. Would he care?
1. Spruce up the house. Appraisers say that you don't need to deep-clean under couches and that a few dirty dishes won't hurt your home's value. But a green pool, cockroaches or that car you've been tinkering on just might. Just think broom clean, not set design for a home-decorating magazine.
2. Curb appeal also matters, so mow the lawn, hack those weeds and trim those hedges. This can also help offset your house from unfair comparisons with foreclosures nearby, especially in today’s economy.
3. Keep a list of all the updates you've made since owning the home and give a copy to the appraiser, maybe even sketch plan of the house indicating square footage could also help. Make sure the list is itemized with each update, when it approximately was done and the cost of it. From the smallest detail, like changing door fixtures, to things they might not see, like new insulation.
4. Have comps on hand. Yes, this is the appraiser's job, but every little bit helps -- especially if you are aware of a nearby property that was sold as for sale by owner. Which can mean it wasn't posted on the multiple listing service (MLS) and can result in other delays by the time it gets posted through other government data sources.
5. Be mindful of peeling paint. Loans insured by government agencies, such as the Federal Housing Administration or the Veterans Administration, will require peeling paint to be removed in houses built before 1978.
6. Focus. Prioritize what you do; if you're the type of homeowner who has upgraded and fixed items as they broke, you should be fine. Spend money on the items that will yield the best return on investment, like paint, carpet, light and plumbing fixtures.
7. Location still matters. If there have been changes to the neighborhood, mention them, from a new playground to a new Trader Joe’s. If the area has been declared a historic or landmark district, let them know.
8. Lock up your pets. Appraisers say they get annoyed enough by homeowners following them around, but now add snarling, growling and barking dog, now it has become worse.
9. Make nice. Try to make the appraiser comfortable — if it's cold out, put the heat on; if it's hot out, the air conditioning. Offer them something to drink.
With those things in mind, let the appraiser do his job.
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