A home appraisal is basically a survey of a home done by a professional to provide an opinion about the property’s value. Often this is performed on behalf of a bank when the home’s owner or potential buyer is looking for a new loan on the home. The appraisal looks at several factors, including the neighborhood, location, values of other homes and the length of time similar homes take to sell. Yet one of the most important factors considered is the home’s condition.
As the homeowner, you can take steps to improve the way the appraiser views your home. The key is knowing what improvements are the most important and spending your time and money on those, while avoiding costly improvements that may not improve your result all that much.
Preparing your home for the appraiser does not require you to make it spotlessly clean, because these professionals look at hundreds of homes a year and are used to seeing a little bit of clutter. However, the more tidy your home is, the better “first impression” it will make.
So how can you strike this balance? Consider tidying your home as you would for important company. This may not be as spotless as you would tidy it for a showing when it is on the market, but it will still be pretty clean. A nice, clean home will prevent your stuff from distracting from what the appraiser is there to see.
As you are cleaning, pay attention to spots and stains. If your flooring has a stain, for instance, try to remove it. The better the condition of the walls and floors in your home, the more valuable it will appear to the appraiser.
Make the Home Accessible
If there are areas of your home that you do not regularly use, like a crawl space or attic, understand the appraiser may need to see them. Make these as accessible as possible by clearing away furniture that may be blocking the doorway or other roadblocks. Clearing the path will save the appraiser time if he or she decides to look at the area.