Homebuyers and sellers often don't see eye to eye on many things, but the one common ground they do share is wanting to complete a successful transaction. During the appraisal process, I've noticed oftentimes a friendship will appear, if only a temporary one. If I had to guess, it's probably because both realize how the entire sale can go up in smoke during this stage of buying/selling a home.
A real estate appraiser holds much power. He or she must take so many factors into account when decreeing the value of a home. Some of these factors homeowners can effect the appraisal, so if that is your aim, read on my friend.
1. Don't Assume the Appraiser Knows Everything
An appraiser spends about 30 minutes to determine the value of a home. You have to imagine, an experienced appraiser inspects thousands of homes, so it becomes almost second nature for these individuals to do their job. In order to highlight anything information you really want an appraiser to remember, having an informational booklet or paper made up giving the basics of your home, as well as any special features you want to focus on is something I'd recommend. You can find templates online for these, or those with a little more technical knowhow can use Photoshop and other such programs to create their fact sheet. Include the year your home was built and its address, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot as well as the square footage of the house. Including a listing of recent sales in the area, especially for sale by owner homes. List any improvements you have made since taking residence in your home, and if you used a contractor, include their information as well.
2. Fix Everything!
Appraiser's grade your home with an "effective age", so be sure to fix up everything you can. An "effective age" isn't how old your house is, but instead it is a number determining how well maintained your home is. Minor damage throughout your home won't cause it to be considered uninhabitable, but it will lower your effective age, and in turn the value of your property will be decreased. Make sure to fix up any wear and tear your house has gone through before your appraiser comes and does his or her job, or you could be missing out on some big bucks!
3. Give the Home a Quick Cleaning
Technically speaking, how clean your home is has nothing to do with its value. However, people are people, and we all know that a clean house looks newer than a dirty house. The same goes with cars, clothes and even people. So rub a dub dub your house away before the appraiser comes, because when it comes to the value of your home, you're better off safe than sorry.
There are no absolutes when it comes to appraisers, as each one is an individual person privy to their own thoughts and beliefs. However, making sure your house is spotless, fixing up any damage around the property and bringing attention to any additions or niceties your home offers will ensure that you can get the highest value possible for your home.