Getting the highest valuation from your home appraisal is important for maximizing your financial position as a homeowner. The appraised value determines how much equity you have and influences loan terms when borrowing against your property. While appraisers aim for objective valuations, you can take proactive steps to ensure your home’s features are fully captured in the appraisal analysis. Read on for tips to increase your odds of an optimal appraisal when selling or financing.
Highlight Unique Property Attributes
One strategy is pointing out special attributes that make your property stand out. Are there rare premium finishings or materials used during custom renovations? Do you have upgraded systems or technology beyond typical homes? How about notable landscaping and hardscaping that require investment? Identify which features a drive-by appraisal might overlook. Providing a detailed list ensures appraisers properly account for elements that boost value. But stick to objective facts – don’t dictate value or argue. Unique attributes help maximize accurate valuation.
Prepare Documentation Of Improvements
Appraisers depend heavily on documented evidence to justify adjustments above comparables. Gather materials like renovation contracts, invoices, permits, and photos capturing upgrades over time. Highlight new additions, remodels, or refreshes that aren’t obvious visually but augment value. Before and after shots also demonstrate the magnitude of transformations. The more proof you can supply about capital invested into your home, the easier you make it for appraisers to properly reflect those enhancements in their number crunching. Don’t just claim improvements, prove them.
Order A Pre-Inspection And Plan Necessary Repairs
Don’t wait until you notice issues at the last minute. Hire your own home inspector to identify necessary repairs early before the appraisal. Then fix problems like leaks, cracks, rot, weathering, drainage issues, or anything suggesting deferred maintenance. An appraiser will incorporate the cost of fixes needed into their valuation. But being proactive saves money and shows your home is pristine. Take care of flaws immediately rather than jeopardizing your appraisal down the road.
Stage Your Home Like A Model
While appraisers only value the real property, a beautifully staged home subconsciously sways the perception of the space. Pack away clutter, and clear surfaces, hang new shower curtains, and fluff pillows, enhance lighting, and carefully curate vignettes in each room. Aim for a fresh, modern, minimalist look accentuating your home’s square footage. Cleanliness and thoughtful styling help appraisers visualize the home’s full potential worth. Staging aligns with maximizing valuation.
Time Your Appraisal Strategically
Schedule the appraisal for peak season when demand is high and inventory low. Summertime appraisals explained capitalize on ideal weather and school being out. Days with sunshine also spotlight the home positively compared to dark, gloomy ones. Avoid appraising during slow seasons or holidays. Optimal timing takes advantage of market trends when buyers compete for a limited housing supply. Align with peak demand cycles for the market and neighborhood.
Provide Comparable Sales To Support Your Estimate
Perform your own due diligence scoping out recent comparable sales supporting the valuation you expect. Identify nearby homes of similar size, age, and quality that recently sold for prices reinforcing your target number. Pointing out relevant comps helps anchor the appraiser’s assessment to realistic market activity rather than just a formula. Convince them with concrete sales evidence. But remain reasonable – unrealistic comps backfire by damaging credibility.
Be There During the Appraisal
While appraisers work independently, being present allows them to point out aspects they overlook and answer questions. Respectfully engage – don’t badger. Highlight key areas, share background details, and reinforce your helpful pre-provided data. Be gracious, candid, and factual. Representing your home in person ensures appraisers have complete context for an informed final opinion of value. But don’t obstruct their process.