Homeowners know that a mortgage appraisal is an essential part of selling their home. What they may not know is just how much influence they have over the appraisal outcome. While no one will ever mistake a Fiat for a Ferrari, the following seven tips from a real estate appraiser provide homeowners the peace of mind that they are appraising at the top end of the value spectrum.

Seven Essential Mortgage Appraisal Tips

1. Renovate the Right Way
Before a homeowner puts their house on the market, they want to ensure it’s in shape to sell. Naturally, this means making necessary repairs, but it also means renovating in strategic ways that increase the home’s value. Fresh paint, new countertops, and refinished hardwood floors are instant value boosters. So are improvements that increase efficiency, such as double-glazed windows, cavity insulation, and solar heaters. Attractive landscaping also helps, as does replacing outdated fixtures and furnishings.

2. Maintain a Renovation Record
Renovations only increase the value of a home if they are noticed by the appraiser. While a new coat of paint may be hard to miss, subtler details may go overlooked—especially if this is not the first time the property has been evaluated. The best way a homeowner can avoid this is by tracking home improvements and maintaining a record of key details including date, cost, and contractor contact information.

3. Work with a Local Appraiser
A real estate appraiser familiar not just with the city but with a homeowner’s specific neighborhood is the person best-suited to accurately assess its value. When requesting an appraiser, a seller should thus request a person with local knowledge and ample experience appraising nearby homes.

4. Create a List of Comps
The selling price of comparable properties is among the most important data points that goes into an appraisal. By building a list of three or four comps of their own, a homeowner not only helps a real estate appraiser with needed research, but gains some control over the data that informs their evaluation.

5. Know the Neighborhood
Neighborhood amenities are another detail that sellers can leverage in their favor. If public transit has recently improved, for instance, the appraiser needs to know. Likewise, if a new school is under construction, the homeowner needs to highlight this detail. While the house, itself, will be the central factor in determining the outcome of a bank appraisal, the neighborhood plays a significant role.

6. Present a Clean Home
First impressions matter as much in a mortgage appraisal as they do in a personal greeting. When a real estate appraiser arrives, the first thing they will notice is the home’s general condition. By ensuring that clutter has been cleared, baseboards have been scrubbed, and carpet stains removed, a seller is able to exercise important influence over this initial impression.

7. Adopt an Outside Perspective
Yes, this means seeing a home as an appraiser would, but it also means looking at the literal exterior of a home. Sellers need not only fix small interior imperfections, but also take care to spruce up the exterior. Crucial details include fixing lifted or missing shingles and repairing superficial elements such as damaged siding or sagging eavestroughs.

To learn more about the mortgage appraisal process or to order an appraisal today, do not hesitate to contact Appraisals Unlimited either by calling 781-449-7600 or emailing us at office@appraisals-unlimited.com.

If you have an immediate need for a commercial or residential real estate appraisal, fill out the brief form below or order an appraisal online. We are the most trusted appraisal company in New England and New Jersey, performing more than 9,000 appraisals every year!