As we have discussed in previous blogs, a home appraiser’s estimation of property value is determined by comparing recent sales prices of similar, or comparable properties, in a particular area. The properties used for comparative analysis are also known as comps. Once a valuation has been reached, lenders use that data to decide how much money to lend to a buyer. There are some things you, the homeowner, can do to help ensure accurate real estate appraisals for your properties.

Ways You Can Help Your Appraisal

CURB APPEAL:

First impressions are everything. Fertilize and manicure your lawn. Trees and shrubs should also be trimmed. Consider adding color to your yard by planting flowers.  Your home’s exterior is also part of your curb appeal. Make any necessary repairs to your home’s façade such as touching up dull paint, replacing or repairing broken light fixtures and replace broken or missing shingles. These simple touch-ups can help your property make a great first impression, not only to the appraiser, but also to any potential buyers if you are selling your home.

TIDY UP:

Do a general deep house cleaning. Clean windows thoroughly and keep the curtains and shades open. The natural light will give the impression of spaciousness.  Polish your cupboards, countertops and any wood finishes. A little bit of wood oil and sparkling counter tops can make even low-end kitchens and baths look impressive.  Replace any burnt out light bulbs throughout the home and clean the switch plates. Dust, vacuum and tidy the contents of the rooms so it is organized. Although organizing and vacuuming won’t directly alter the value of your home, it will play a roll in how the appraiser will view how you care for your home overall. Additionally, touch-up paint and a deep floor cleaning can add new life to the interior of your home, making the walls and floors look new again and can increase the perceived value of your home, not only to the appraiser, but prospective buyers as well.

SHOW YOUR UPGRADES:

If you have put upgrades into your home, make a list for your appraiser. You may want to offer before and after photos or documentation of what materials you used- quality materials can add value. Highlight structural improvements, such as a new roof or siding. New Heating cooling or electrical systems are also important to note. Provide information on any additions or structural renovations such as an added sunroom or master suite. Remember to provide documentation of permits for large renovations.

KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD:

Provide evidence of at least three well-priced properties that are similar to yours that are in your area. You can get information like this from your listing agent or online real estate sites such as Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com. It is important to compare apples to apples, so find homes with the same number of bedrooms, similar square footage and acreage.

TALK UP YOUR TOWN:

Properties in nice towns and neighborhoods are more desirable and can sometimes fetch a higher price. Make sure your appraiser knows how great your neighborhood or town is and why.

With home values going up, the appraisal industry has to adjust for the difference between current value and previous sales prices. At Premier Home Appraisals, we have been through this kind of flux before. Our experience in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC markets, where variability is the norm rather than the exception, we have a demonstrated system for accounting for changes in the market. Offering information to ensure accurate real estate appraisals on your properties is greatly appreciated. We will take everything into consideration and give your home a fair value.

Contact us today for a consultation.