Featured Image Caption: A Woman in Black Suit Jacket Using a Digital Tablet | Image Credit: pexels(.)com
Buying a home is one of the most important milestones and expensive purchases you will make in your life. It’s also a good investment vehicle, with its value seeing a potential increase over time. However, unless you plan to preserve your home for your family’s future generations, you will eventually need to resell it to move to your next one.
A house appraisal is a process where it describes the actual market value of a property depending on its location, size, condition, and other factors like the state of the real estate sector in the area.
A real estate appraisal also provides you with an analysis of local market trends, summarizes your home’s attributes, and lists down areas for improvement—to increase your property’s value. The value stated in the report will more or less dictate your home’s resale price. However, there are several things you can do to increase the appraisal value of your house before consulting with an appraiser.
Below, let’s go over how real estate appraisers assess properties. By knowing what aspects they evaluate in a home, you can identify issues and make the necessary changes prior to the appraisal.
What Exactly Does an Appraiser Do?
An appraiser is a professional who evaluates a property’s present market value. When you list your home and accept an offer, the lender financing the buyer will want to make sure your house is truly worth the amount of money being borrowed from them.
These professionals are hired to inspect a property objectively, which means they don’t take their own preferences into account when judging the features of a home. They only consider crucial factors that affect property value, so you should not expect them to react strongly to characteristics that generally appeal to the average buyer.
As stated earlier, the appraiser is usually hired by the buyer’s lender. However, it may depend on some countries. For instance, in the Philippines, the Philippine Housing and Insurance Commission has put regulations to ensure a fair appraisal by a neutral third party. The majority of lenders work with an appraisal management company that selects appraisers from a list of competent real estate professionals.
What Qualities Do Home Appraisers Look for?
A property appraiser will evaluate your home after all your belongings have been removed from the site. They are concerned with the space into which the potential buyer will own, not the home you lived in and built. Furthermore, they focus primarily on the durability of the structure and its main systems.
In addition, they will examine all house components, including the exterior and interior elements of the property. They will take notes on the property’s layout and evaluate its physical condition. The foundation, siding, outside facilities, and exterior paintwork will all be inspected. Swimming pools, landscaping, and sprinkler systems are part of the other outdoor amenities to be assessed.
The appraiser will then evaluate each room in your home—one at a time. This includes assessing and testing the current state and usability of appliances, fittings, flooring materials, plumbing systems, and other fixtures.
Moreover, appraisers will look closely at the lighting fixtures, heating and air conditioning systems, cabinetry, paintwork, wall finish, fireplaces, countertops, furnaces, and electrical systems inside the property.
Now that you have a clear idea of how a real estate appraisal works.
Here are some effective ways to increase your home’s appraisal value.
Pay attention to the curb appeal
The appearance of a property’s exterior can attract prospective buyers right away. A freshly painted house with an aesthetically pleasing design and well-manicured lawn makes a great first impression. If your home is in relatively good condition, there is no need to do a complete renovation.
Minor changes may be required, such as fixing dents and cracks, making sure the home address is visible, pressure washing exterior surfaces, and removing dead plants from your yard. Moreover, a welcoming entrance appeals to not only guests or potential buyers but also the initial impression an appraiser gets upon arriving at your house.
Examine your home’s exterior
Is there missing or damaged roofing and paneling? Buyers and appraisers will most likely notice damages to your home’s exterior. Hence, it’s essential to contact a professional as quickly as possible to fix any problems you may discover.
Issues with your façade or roof can result in pricey repairs in the future, so they can have a detrimental impact on determining the resale value of your house.
Create the appropriate atmosphere
While the appraiser will not be as emotionally invested in your property as the buyer, they are all still human and will be influenced by the ambiance.
You are not creating the ideal mood if your home appears cramped, dark, and cluttered. You want to let in enough natural light as possible and declutter the space. If you’re planning to paint your house, make sure to pick the best color combinations that soothe the eyes.
If you have any misplaced appliance or furniture in your house that makes it look smaller, you should think about getting rid of it or storing it away temporarily.
Clean your home thoroughly
It’s an appraiser’s responsibility to ignore purely cosmetic features that have no bearing on the home’s market price. However, you should still deep clean your home to make it look inviting and highlight its best attributes.
Remember that you want the appraiser’s visit to your home to be as comfortable as possible. Although it should not affect your home’s assessment, making sure it is free of distractions and disturbances can help the appraiser focus on the structure and make the appraisal process go smoothly.
Renovate your kitchen
The kitchen is the center of attraction in most homes. Excellent cabinetry, ample counter space, and an open and versatile layout can increase the value of your home. Start with modest projects like resurfacing old cabinets, cleaning stains, replacing outdated sinks, or updating old appliances if you’re on a tight budget.
These tiny yet impactful changes can significantly improve the appearance and functionality of your kitchen.
Grow a garden or plant trees
Building a garden or installing fully grown trees in your yard can raise the market price of your home. Plants help purify the air and add to a space’s aesthetic value when placed correctly. Plus, they can provide shade in warmer weather and reduce air cooling and ventilation costs. Just make sure your trees aren’t too close to electrical lines or driveways for safety reasons.
Think about going green
While it may not be the most exciting type of improvement to undertake, purchasing energy-efficient appliances that can help preserve energy in the home is an excellent way to boost the value of your property.
Your energy expenses will be significantly reduced when you make your home more environmentally friendly. Essentially, the savings the buyer can gain in the future as a result of your modifications will result in a better appraisal value. Besides, many homebuyers now look at a property’s green features as one of the factors for their decision-making.
Keep a record of all the improvements you’ve made
If you’ve lived in your home for a long time, you may have upgraded many areas of it throughout the years. You should create a record of all the upgrades you’ve made, detailing the dates and total costs.
Even though getting a new refrigerator or replacing worn-out countertops may seem trivial, these improvements can still affect the value of your property, so make sure you keep documents for proof.
Hiring a reliable, licensed contractor and obtaining all necessary permissions is also crucial, whether remodeling a room or doing quick repairs. Don’t forget to ask them for documentation for future reference.
Extra Tips for Increasing Your Home’s Appraisal Value
Take some time to look into the background of the appraiser. They may be entirely new to your neighborhood, so if you reside in a highly sought-after location, make sure the appraiser is aware of this. You may be able to acquire documents on comparable properties that were recently sold in your neighborhood, which you can give to the appraiser for reference.
You can also include a list of nearby attractions, places of entertainment, business establishments, and upmarket retail centers. If your community is in the desired school district, you can also share information on the schools in the area.
Having said that, remember that the appraiser has a task to complete when they visit your property. Ensure you provide the necessary information about the property. You should also be ready to give comprehensive and honest answers to their questions. It’s important to show that you are transparent, cooperative, and trustworthy.
Lastly, if you are finally ready to sell your home, here is a complete real estate checklist to guide you in this process. Keep in mind that a qualified real estate agent can help you sell your home more quickly and for the best possible price.
Before putting your house on the market, it’s necessary to have it appraised professionally to determine its worth. Having a professional assess your property can help you determine the improvements you need to make to increase its value and ensure that your potential buyer is satisfied. When you sell your home at the right price, it’s a win-win for all parties involved.