Photo Credit: Francesca Tosolini via Unsplash
When it’s time to list your home for sale, you start taking a look at your familiar surroundings with a critical eye. This is actually an important part of the pre-listing process. Making small but essential repairs can help ensure that your home passes inspection, and that prospective buyers will see your property in a positive light, and be willing to make strong offers. Real Estate Blog 247 can help you prepare from a non-resident standpoint, “evicting” unwanted pests and wildlife prior to a home inspection.
Learn What Appraisers Look For
All appraisers look for the overall integrity of your house and compare it to similar properties in your area. They will also measure your square footage, make note of how many beds and baths you have, and the type of flooring throughout the home. They’ll also make note of upgrades, like kitchen or bathroom make-overs, additions, and recent replacement of high-dollar items like roof or HVAC units. They may also check into whether you’ve maintained regular service on key household systems. Having receipts and records on hand can help you demonstrate your overall maintenance and caretaking of the property.
Make Cosmetic Fixes
According to Time, there are a number of minor home improvements that can help make your house look refreshed, well cared for, and move-in ready. For example, if you have a cracked mirror, replace it. If you have molding that is coming loose, caulk it back in place. If your kitchen cabinets have scuff marks and look dingy, wash them well, apply a fresh coat of paint, and possibly even add some new fixtures. Cracked or cloudy-looking tile? A good deep steam cleaning and careful repair can make it look as good as new.
Cosmetic “fixes” make your home look like it has been well cared for, which can help boost appraised value. Potential home buyers want to know the property has been well taken care of, and the potential lender wants to make sure that they are lending money for a fair market priced home.
Prepare for Your Home Inspection
There are a number of things that an appraiser will look for when they’re assessing your house. There are big-ticket items, like the state of your home’s structure. They’ll check for cracks in your foundation, problems with water-related plumbing issues, roof integrity, issues with major electrical systems, and signs of infestation from pests like termites or rodents. Major issues will typically require the attention of a professional.
While it might not seem like a huge deal, since most homes have an issue now and then, one thing that is sure to put buyers off is a pest problem – especially evidence of mice. If you know you have a problem with these cute but troubling creatures, look online for “exterminators near me for mice” and get them removed right away. Be sure to read reviews so that you choose a reliable company that will take care of the issue quickly and thoroughly.
The way your home looks on the first impression tells an appraiser and prospective buyers about the care and attention you’ve given your home. The nicer the home looks, the more confident prospective buyers, and even appraisers will be that you’re not hiding anything, and have, in fact, been good caretakers of your property.
This Old House recommends power washing your home’s exterior, removing dead branches and trees, and having a pest control expert evaluate your property and spray as necessary so you can provide both appraiser and potential buyers with a clean bill of health in the form of a written assessment from a pest-control professional. Add touches like landscape lighting and fresh flowers. While it might not seem like these issues are integral to the value of your home, the perception of value can boost you above neighborhood competition.
Home appraisals may be conducted when you’re listing your home for sale, buying a house, or even refinancing an existing mortgage. While there are factual, structural, and comparison (“comp”) estimates in play, keep in mind that appraisers are human beings who can also be influenced by outward appearance, as well as what’s below the surface. Two homes that are identical in age, size, and amenities may actually appraise at different amounts if one is clean and well kept and the other is cluttered and dingy.
Buying and selling a home can be stressful. Even if it’s not your first time, it’s likely been awhile since you went through the process. Resources like Real Estate Blog 247 have helpful information that can make you feel more equipped to handle the process of moving. And work with your real estate agent during the appraisal process to ensure you get the best appraisal possible.