If you are in the process of selling your home, you will need a home appraisal at some point. A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate, done by a professional home appraiser, of what your home is worth. This is done so that there is an objective assessment of the monetary value of any given home. The higher your home appraisal value, the more money for which you will likely be able to sell the home.
There are a few simple steps you can take to maximize your appraisal value before meeting with the individual who will be appraising your home.
Let your home appraiser know about all of your home improvement efforts.
If you have made many improvements to your home, they have likely cost you a great deal of money. However, you can make this money back in the appraisal as long as your appraiser knows all about the work you have done and can take this into account when determining the value of your home. Make sure to keep all of your home improvement projects in mind (such as a new fireplace, remodeled kitchen, redone deck, et cetera), so that the appraiser knows about all of them and your hard work can pay off for each of these endeavors.
Pay attention to any damage in and around your home.
Before you bring the appraiser into your domain, you will want to know about any issues or damage that could lower your appraisal value. Make sure that all the floorboards and the roof are intact, that the gutters are functional, that the pipes are in working order, and that everything is generally running smoothly. If you see any small issues that could cost you hundreds of dollars, fix them before having the home appraised; if the appraiser sees these issues, you could lose more in the lowered appraisal value than you would have spent on the processes of fixing them.
Keep the surroundings of your home in mind.
Your appraiser may not be extremely familiar with your area and all that it has to offer to someone who ends up buying your home. If you know that the area's public school system is excellent, that the highways have been updated, or that there are great parks or other public amenities in the area, make sure that your appraiser knows about all of this before making his or her assessment. People who are interested in your home will not only want it for the home itself, but for everything that they will have access to while living in the area.
Make sure to make everything spick and span.
This may seem overly simplistic, but it can truly make a difference in the amount of money you will be able to get for your home. If you make sure that the home is free of dirt (the carpets are shampooed, the driveway and deck are powerwashed, the walls are clean, and the home is free of excess clutter), your home will actually look newer. As such, appraisers will see it as worth more than they would if the very same home with the very same amenities was dirty.
Make sure that you have all of the necessary safety equipment
and that it is properly installed.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are the most important pieces of equipment here, as they are required for basic safety. Less crucial equipment, such as home security systems, can also help maximize the appraisal value of your home. If all of the safety equipment in the home is in working order, you will be more likely to see these amenities reflected in your appraisal value.
Essentially, you will need to present your home in the best way possible to the home appraiser. In addition to making sure that everything is in working order, you should also make sure that the home looks presentable, so that it will appear attractive both to the appraiser and to potential buyers. You will benefit a great deal from letting him or her know all about the amenities that come with the home, as well as those to which buyers will have access in the neighborhood and community after purchasing it. If you present a great place to live, this will show in the appraisal value.