If you’re considering refinancing, selling, or removing PMI, you’ll need to set up a home appraisal. If you’re selling your home, this will be set up through the buyer and agent through your realtor, but if not, your mortgage company will contact the home appraiser. It is important to put your best foot forward in order to get the most money for your property, and this requires planning and preparation to showcase the beauty and charm of your home. If you’re worried about your home’s worth, you can get a head start by contacting a home appraiser earlier, rather than when a buyer is interested. That way, the residential appraiser can note any areas of improvement you need to make. Remember, if your appraisal comes in lower than expected, it can be difficult to secure a buyer. The good news is real estate appraisals don’t have to be stressful. In the event that you’re crunched on time, follow these six steps to ensure you’re getting the best value for your home.

View Your Home Through the Eyes of a Potential Buyer

The best place to start is objectively viewing your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. It is no doubt that you love your home, and that may blind you to some stark realities about your property that a home appraiser will pick up on. When most people watch shows like House Hunters or Love It or List It, they are quickly able to see the faults in the homes they see on the television screen. Take that critical eye through your home as you walk through. Ask yourself whether your home is something that you’d be interested in purchasing, or if there are things you would want fixed before making the big decision to buy.

Double-Check That Functional Features of the Home Are Up to Date and Working

This one is quite simple, but crucial to check before a home appraiser arrives. Making sure that safety features like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, home security alarms, and other features are working properly is imperative. It is also important to consider your plumbing, roof, heating system, and electrical are all functional and up to date as this affects the value of your home.

Do Research on Other Homes in Your Neighborhood and the Surrounding Area

Many details of other appraisals are public records, and by doing a little research, you’re setting yourself up for success. Knowing the value of other homes in your area, the sales price of homes in your area, and any problems other people have encountered during their home appraisals puts you ahead of the game when it comes time for your appraisal date. The value of your home can be contingent upon other homes, not just in your neighborhood, but also in the surrounding area. However, this doesn’t mean that through a little TLC your home can’t exceed the value of other homes.

Deep Clean Your Home and Groom Your Yard

You wouldn’t go out to a fancy dinner in sweatpants, and the same sentiment rings true with home appraisals. So, don’t hold back. Wash the walls, clean the carpets, touch up paint, add some plants to your interior, clean marks on trim work, the list goes on. It may sound like a lot of work, but this will pay off. Unfortunately, working solely on your interior is not enough. Boosting your curb appeal is just as important as making sure the inside of your home is staged properly. Sometimes, the little things can make all the difference.

Update Old or Outdated Features

Old countertops, cupboards, and flooring should be replaced if necessary. Also, any outdated prints or wallpaper should be updated, and anything that looks inexpensive should be elevated. You can make these changes at a minimal cost especially if you are able to do the work yourself. It is a general rule that small things to replace should cost less than $500 dollars to replace. You will recover those costs in your appraisal.

Consider the Current Pandemic and Establish Work From Home Features

It’s no surprise that most people are working from home right now. In fact, in the most recent REALTORS® Confidence Index survey, 64% of respondents reported having clients who desired work from home features. If possible, turn an extra room into a home office, or at the very least set up a desk with a computer and chair.

If you are selling or refinancing your home and have a need for a residential real estate appraisal, contact us today. We are the most trusted appraisal company in New England and New Jersey, performing more than 10,000 appraisals every year!