Why is an appraisal an important part of the home loan process? A home appraisal is basically a report that details a licensed appraiser’s professional, unbiased opinion of a home’s market value. Lenders use this information to determine that would-be borrowers aren’t borrowing more than the home is worth. If you’re hoping to buy, refinance, or sell, an appraisal that is too low can bring your desired deal crashing down. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to boost this vital number. Do you know how to get a higher appraisal on your home?
How to Get a Higher Appraisal on Your Home
As State Farm indicates, some factors that are beyond your control impact your appraisal, including the quality of nearby schools, the values of surrounding properties, and the state of the local economy. However, you’re not completely powerless. There are many things that you can do to present your property in a favorable light. Check out the following tips if you’re wondering how to get a higher appraisal on your home.
1. Clean Up
Do you want to increase your appraisal without spending a dime? Cleaning up only requires some time and elbow grease, but it can certainly help your home put its best foot forward. As Bigger Pockets explains, the cleanliness of a property isn’t technically supposed to be a factor in an appraisal, but it’s easier to appreciate positive qualities in a home that appears cared for than in one that seems neglected. Before the appraiser arrives, stage the home like you would for a showing. Prep by tidying around the house, removing clutter, and making sure that everything smells pleasant.
2. Finish Small Repairs
Most homeowners have at least a few small problem spots that they’ve been meaning to fix. Forbes suggests that you address any issues on your to-do list before the appraisal. The condition of the home is a major factor in an appraisal, so it’s smart to complete any projects that you’ve been planning, ensure that all the home’s major systems are functional, verify that you’re current on all recommended routine maintenance, and repair anything that’s broken.
3. Consider Curb Appeal
What’s inside your home matters, but the outside is important too. Appraisers begin their evaluation before they cross the threshold, so taking steps to improve your home’s curb appeal can help you start the process on the right foot (source). Verify that mailboxes, exterior lighting, driveways, and walkways are clean and in good repair. Trim hedges and trees, remove any dead plants, weed flowerbeds, and mow the lawn. Consider using container gardens and potted plants to add color. Also, ensure that your house number is clearly visible. After all, being forced to waste time finding your property because it wasn’t clearly marked is unlikely to put the appraiser in a good mood.
4. Highlight Improvements
If you’ve improved your property, you’ll want to make sure that you get credit during the appraisal. Riverfront Appraisals recommends providing the appraiser with a list of any major improvements, the date that they were completed, and their cost. What types of improvements should appear on the list?
- Any additions
- A new roof
- A finished basement
- A converted garage
- The replacement of any major system
- Upgrades to the electric or plumbing
- New windows or doors
- New floors
- New countertops or cabinets
5. Collect Your Own Comparables
When determining a value for your property, appraisers consider how similar properties that recently sold have fared. These are referred to as comparables. While your appraiser will likely do their own research, it doesn’t hurt to hand over your own comparables. As Bigger Pockets points out, this gives you a chance to highlight favorable comps, offer explanations that the appraiser might otherwise miss for sale prices that seem unusually low, and call attention to new features in the community that might increase the appeal of your property.
6. Be Present Without Being Pushy
What should you do during the appraisal? Be present and polite. Greet the appraiser, invite them to review the information that you have gathered, and answer any questions. Then, back off so that they can do their job. Do not hover. Forbes warns that shadowing the appraiser’s every move can make it seem like you’re nervous or have something to hide.
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner interested in refinancing, you can count on PrimeLending of Kansas City for the quality service that you deserve. We’re experts in the local market and work with local appraisers so that you get a fast, accurate appraisal. With our use of cutting-edge technology, efficient underwriting, and accelerated closings, we get the job done. To learn more about buying, refinancing, and the various loan programs available to help you achieve your homeownership goals, contact PrimeLending of Kansas City today.