How to Prepare Your Home for a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal is a crucial step for any homeowner, seller, or refinancer. Not only does it determine the value of your home, but it can also impact your ability to qualify for a mortgage and get the most out of the sale price.
In some instances, low appraisals can lead to more expensive mortgages or even a complete home foreclosure. For example, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a recent study showed that homeowners with low appraisals were forced to take out much more expensive lines of credit than their homes were worth.
Appraisals are based on a number of factors, including your home’s size, condition, and location. They may also consider other aspects that can’t be changed, such as zoning or neighborhood amenities like schools and parks.
Your home is a significant investment, and the more you can do to protect its value, the better off you’ll be when the time comes to sell. Here are some tips for improving the value of your home for a future appraisal:
Improve the overall appearance of your home
Cleanliness is always important, but it’s particularly important when an appraiser is coming to check your home’s condition and make an estimate on its value. A dirty house is more likely to have structural issues that may affect its habitability, such as broken windows or a damaged roof.
Do your best to keep your home clean before the appraisal, and continue to maintain it throughout the process.
You can help your appraiser by providing any information about your home that they may need, such as a list of nearby homes that have recently sold above or below your price. If possible, provide any records you have regarding the repairs and improvements you’ve made to your home.
Be aware of racial discrimination in the appraisal process
If you suspect that your home’s appraised value has been unfairly devalued, push back and file a complaint. This can be done through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or with your local housing agency.
Prepare for your home appraisal by learning about the home valuation methods used to value your home, and what the appraisal process will look like for you.
A home appraisal is a critical step in the real estate process, but it can be difficult to know what exactly is going on when an appraiser comes to your property. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the inspection:
Organize your belongings and make sure everything is in order before the appraisal. An appraiser can’t be expected to take the time to examine every single item in your home, so it’s important to have things ready and neat before they arrive.
Find a good real estate agent or broker to assist you with the sales process, as well as to help you find out how your home compares to other homes in the area. Having someone on your side who understands the ins and outs of the home buying process can help you avoid pitfalls or problems during the closing process.