A home appraisal is essentially an evaluation of what your home is worth. The main criteria your appraiser considers is the location of your home, its size (including square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, and lot size), it’s condition, (including the quality of structure inside and out, appliances, and any possibly disrepair), and any features it offers or lacks, (like central air, a washer, and dryer, an elevator, or a doorman).
Although factors like the size and location of your home may be out of your control, there are many steps sellers can take to increase their home’s value easily. What’s better, these steps are simple and affordable.
Before we get to our list, we always encourage sellers to prepare themselves for their appraisal by checking out homes for sale in their area. This will allow you to get a sense of what the competition looks like and compare what’s out there to what you’re home can offer. Scoping things out is the best way to figure out the kind of improvements you may need to make around the house.
Once you have an idea of what’s out there, you can begin to take these steps to up the value of your home. A little goes a long way.
1. Make your home spotless.
Don’t just tidy up, do a deep clean. Polish the floors, wash the windows, see your reflection in the bathroom faucet. Go ahead and make the place smell nice while you’re at it.
2. Take care of all those little projects around the house that you may have left lingering.
You’d be shocked to learn how something as small (and low-cost) as caulking the tub or freshening up peeling paint on a baseboard can get you a higher price for your home. Take a good look around and replace the broken handle on the kitchen cabinet or the outlet that’s hanging out of the wall.
3. Add some nice touches. Go for some “wow.”
Factors. Flowers are a great start. Think about curtains for the windows, nice towels in the bathroom, or some wall decor in places that are a bit sparse.
4. Invest in low-cost repairs and upgrades
Repainting your home is a great way to make it highly appealing to appraisers (and buyers). Do you have older appliances or surface materials like cabinets or floors? Time to upgrade. Things like new windows, a modern vanity in the bathroom, or a stainless steel microwave may seem like an expensive move when you’re trying to make a profit, but upgrades like these are guaranteed to yield a high return on investment.
5. Look beyond the home
Consider the assets surrounding your home. Are you in a good school zone? Do you have great public transportation options? Are you close to public parks? Is street parking easy? Public amenities count! Make your appraiser aware of what your home has to offer just by where it’s situated.
6. Let the appraiser know about any upgrades
You may think that a professional appraiser would never miss any of the work you do to upgrade your home. Don’t count on it! It’s essential to let your appraiser know about all of the recent updates, additions, repairs, and esthetic improvements you’ve made to your home. Show them the fruits of your labor so that all your hard work pays off.