Whether you’re refinancing your mortgage or selling your home, you’ll likely need an appraisal to determine your current market value. The appraiser will consider factors such as square footage, materials, amenities, and condition and compare them to similar properties that have recently been sold nearby. You might not be able to refinance at all if your appraisal is low, or you might have to accept less-than-ideal loan terms that could involve paying for private mortgage insurance.
A higher appraisal will almost certainly result in more loan options, typically with lower interest rates and better payment plans. Make sure your house is clean before you start the evaluation preparation. Since appraisers are human, after all, a well-kept property will appear to have good curb appeal and clean, uncluttered interiors. Additionally, they can be achieved with little effort or cost.
The foundation of a house would likely require a professional, but you can seal all your doors and windows, paint the trim, and fix small problems before they get worse. In most cases, the appraiser will examine the structure of the home before even entering it. Ensure that the home’s major systems have all been serviced and that everything seems to be kept up and working. The appraiser will also search for structural flaws, leaks, and other issues in the house. The condition of a home is generally more important to appraisers than the year it was built. Take on any DIY home projects you’ve been putting off.
Save all of your receipts after spending money on your house repair, and preserve them in a filing cabinet. Additionally, it’s a good idea to document any upgrades and improvements with before and after pictures. You can simply show the appraiser what you have done to update and improve your home, as well as how much you spent on maintaining structure. Include any permit paperwork that was obtained as part of home renovation projects as well.
Many people don’t pay much attention to the outside of their homes, especially if they are typically entering and exiting through the garage or side door. However, curb appeal is essential to both appraisers and potential buyers. The property’s appraised value may be lowered if the appraiser notices that the lawn and garden are neglected. Despite its seeming insignificance but a dirty lawn still affects property appraisal value.
In addition to a well-kept garden, the appraiser will probably check the fence’s condition. Swimming pools can be checked for their structure and appearance as well. For a better impression of the yard’s look, the owner should clear away any floating debris or dead leaves from surrounding the pool.
In order to determine the value of your home, compare its value to those of similar homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold. A better understanding of the comps than the appraiser allows you to challenge lowball comps. In the case of lowball appraisals, don’t wait until the appeal process to challenge them. You have almost no chance of success because it would be an admission of fault on their part. Visiting your local county office will allow you to find out exactly which properties have sold in your area in the last six months and see them in person.