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Home Appraisal Tips for Sellers

Besides actually finding a buyer who’s willing to pay what you’re asking, nothing is more important to the home-selling process than securing a favorable appraisal. Your home’s appraised value dictates its list price and influences buyers’ decision-making processes. You quite literally can’t afford to neglect it.

How Does the Appraisal Process Work?

Unlike a home inspection, a pre-sale appraisal focuses on the basic attributes of your home and property: its age, lot size, building style, square footage, percentage of finished space and value-added features like garages. Most appraisals involve comparisons with a handful of comparable properties in the neighborhood. Based on your home’s physical characteristics and appearance relative to nearby properties, your appraiser determines its “fair value.”

Tips for a Favorable Appraisal

Ideally, the appraisal process is objective: If 10 appraisers look at the same house, they’re supposed to come to very similar conclusions about its value. That said, there are plenty of ways to give your home an edge with your appraiser—and secure a higher valuation that could translate to a  better selling price.

Hire Your Own Appraiser

Don’t only rely on the appraiser provided by a mortgage lender. These folks do a fine job, but they don’t have a vested interest in maximizing the value of your home. To give your property the edge, hire your own professional.

Lighten Up Your Interior

It goes without saying that you need to thoroughly clean your home before its appraisal, and it may be a good idea to update old appliances or modernize its layout as well. After taking these steps, let your home shine by throwing open the curtains and flooding it with natural light. If possible, invite your appraiser over in the middle of the day to maximize light exposure.

Spruce Up Your Exterior

First impressions matter. Make sure your appraiser likes what he or she sees by weeding your garden, planting easy-maintenance shrubs and fixing any defects in your home’s walkways, porch or deck. If it needs a paint job, take care of that as well.

Don’t Be Shy with the Self-Promotion

If you don’t talk up your home’s best features, your appraiser might look right past them. After making improvements in preparation for your appraisal and listing, type up a brief but detailed report on each one. Hand it off to your appraiser and trail him or her through the house to ensure that nothing is missed.

Publicize Your Neighborhood

Since your appraiser will be looking intently at other properties on your block, it’s crucial that he or she understands the nature of the area. Unless you’re neighbors, offer to show your appraiser around the neighborhood and point out its value-added amenities. If there’s any third-party literature that can bolster your case, be sure to share it.

While these aren’t the only seller-friendly home appraisal tips, they’re a great start. If you’re looking for more inside advice on how to maximize your home’s selling price, contact a Modtown expert and get pointed in the right direction.