The real estate market is still hot and there are currently more buyers than homes available for sale. So far in this year's fall real estate market, home values continue to rise. Despite the super seller's market, appraisers are protecting the mortgage companies' interests. It hasn't been uncommon where homes haven't appraised for the prices on the real estate contracts this year. Appraisers are keeping a reign on how high prices will rise. To ensure your home receives it's best value, it's important to prepare for your home's appraisal.
How Your Real Estate Agent Can Help
Ask your real estate agent to attend the appraisal. If you are there, you cannot talk to the appraiser unless he asks you questions directly. If you try to talk to the appraiser about your home, he might think you are trying to sway him to appraise it for a higher value. Have your real estate agent bring a comparative market analysis. This should include comps of similar homes that have recently sold in the immediate area. Your real estate agent can provide the appraiser with the listing sheet and the brochure of your home, which should list all the upgrades and updates in your home.
What You Can Provide
According to the National Association of Realtors Residential Appraisal Process FAQs for Agents, you can provide the appraiser with documents such as the plat of survey from when you purchased the home, the deed, the covenants and homeowner's association documents. also helpful are the floor plan, inspection reports, neighborhood details, a detailed list with dates of any upgrades and updates you've made to the home, and a list of the home's energy-efficient green features.
Make a Few Repairs
Even before you list your home for sale, it's a good idea to make a few repairs. Big or small, repairs help increase home values. If the buyer's inspections have been completed, and you and the buyers have agreed that some repairs will be made, make these repairs before the appraisal, if possible. When appraisers walk around your home, you don't want them to see defects or safety hazards. Remember, every few hundred dollars counts in an appraisal.
Clean Your Home
You probably cleaned your home, or had it professionally cleaned, before you listed it for sale. It's a wise idea to clean it again before the appraisal. If an appraiser sees a clean home, it will make them believe that you take care of your home. Homeowners who take care of their homes, and stay on top of problems, usually have fewer defects when it comes time to sell. Having a clean home ultimately puts more money in your pockets.
If you haven't already decluttered your home before you listed it for sale, do it before the appraisal. The appraiser measures the rooms in your home. Be sure he has a clear path and isn't tripping over furniture or other clutter.
The first part of your home the appraiser will see is the front. You want to have good curb appeal so the appraiser has a positive feeling at the start. Mow the lawn and make sure there aren't any weeds growing in the grass or landscaping beds. Put down a fresh layer of landscaping material such as mulch or stones. Trim trees and bushes. It's especially important to trim them away from the roof and the siding. If you have an asphalt driveway, have it freshly seal coated. Clean the front of your home and be sure it doesn't have dirt, mildew or spiderwebs. The same is true for the sides and back of your home. The appraiser will walk around the exterior to measure. Be sure he is impressed with your entire exterior and yard.
Properly preparing for your home's appraisal is key in this market. Showing the appraiser why your home is worth the price on the contract is significant.