Sunday, February 10, 2019 / by Jo Skipper
Obtaining the Highest Value From an Appraisal
Are you thinking of selling your home or refinancing? In either event, an appraisal of your home will happen in the process. The lender is after the proof that the value of your home substantiates the loan amount.
Here is an all too common situation in the recent market: You have received an offer on your home for sale and this offer is amazing! It is above asking price, contingencies for inspection have been met, and they have been prequalified for a loan in this amount so you have the green light for this amount, right? Slow down, seller! The hurdle your home has yet to make is whether or not it will appraise for this amount. Now things are beginning to sound a little dicey. What happens if your home does not appraise for the purchase price? What happens then? Are the buyers prepared to cover the difference in the appraisal amount because they love your house so much or are they going to walk away? If they choose to walk away, and this often happens in this situation then seller you are stuck at square one and have to start the entire process over again.
Let’s go over some ways from the seller’s side that you can avoid a low appraisal. Think of this as inviting a very important person to your home. You are only going to meet this person this one time (hopefully) and your home has to make a stellar first impression. There are many things a seller can do to prepare.
Clean up the yard and entryway. If appropriate, mow your lawn, pull weeds, trim your trees and hedges. Fix any broken fencing or hanging gutters.
Usually, before you choose to sell your home you have completed some updates to the exterior to really catch the eye of a buyer. If you have not yet completed that then this moment is your last chance to make an impact. Make any paint repairs that you have been neglecting. Sand some problem areas down and repaint or repair. Walk around your house to ensure the exterior of the structure is in proper condition. Make sure the roof and gutters are clean of debris and in working order. If you do this correctly, then this is the last time you will have to complete this task on this house.
Review your home for safety issues. Know the guidelines for selling your home. Is your water heater properly secured? Do you have the appropriate number of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors? Are they located in the proper areas for maximum safety?
Before listing your home a seller should deep clean and declutter their home. If there were many potential buyers through the home or this cleaning was done some time ago, then it is advised to do this again before the appraiser arrives. Keep in mind that a potential buyer does not view the home as an appraiser does. This round of cleaning and de-cluttering involves more of a final check to make sure everything is in working order without evidence of substantial wear and tear or deferred maintenance.
Follow these simple tips and hopefully avoid the circumstance of a low appraisal or having an appraisal redone in hopes of attaining a higher value. If you have completed all of the necessary steps then this could be the last time you will ever have to work on this house. Now you can celebrate!