How to Prepare Your Home for Appraisal

November 28, 2016

There’s a lot to think about, and a lot to do, when you’re in the process of buying or selling a home. The home appraisal process is a vital, yet often overlooked, part of the process. As a seller, there are several things you can do to ensure your home appraisal works in your favor.

First, it’s helpful for homeowners to keep in mind that an appraisal value is simply an analysis of what your property will sell for in any given market. The appraisal report describes the property and compares it to sales of similar properties to see what other buyers have actually paid in that market. The appraisal lets a bank or lender know what the loan collateral will sell for in a “worst case” scenario such as a foreclosure, where the bank has to take the property back.

With this in mind, there are a few simple things that can really help showcase the value of a property when getting it ready for an appraisal.

It is important to have the property look as good as it possibly can. You want to help the appraiser see your property’s potential so they will possibly reconcile a value closer toward the upper end of the range. Your job is to make sure the appraiser sees how appealing your house can be to potential buyers. Simple things that can be done the day before the appraisal include:

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Weeding the landscaping and beds and trimming the bushes.
  • Cleaning the house and making sure it smells good
  • Turning on lights and opening blinds before the appraiser arrives

It is also very helpful is to sit down the day or night before the appraiser arrives and make a list of repairs and improvements that have been done to the house over the past several years. Make a list of both big and little things, such as:

  • A new roof
  • New HVAC system
  • Kitchen and/or bath renovations
  • New floor coverings
  • Exterior landscaping and hardscaping
  • New ceiling fans, appliances
  • A new hot water heater

Note anything you can think of – the appraiser will decide what is important to the value. It does not have to be formal or detailed. Just thoughtfully note everything so you can give it to the appraiser before he or she leaves.

Preparing for an appraisal is just one of the many things you can do to enhance your Charleston real estate investment. Contact your Daniel Island Real Estate sales associate for more suggestions.