If you are looking to buy a home or want a current value of your property, you will need an appraisal.
Before banks or lending institutions can consider loaning money for a property, they need to know the current market value of that property. The job of an appraiser is to check the general condition of your home and determine a comparable market value based on other homes in your area.
While you may think “it is what it is”, we actually have a few tips that can help improve your home’s appraisal to ensure you are getting top market value!
- Clean Up: The appraiser is basing the value of your property on how good it looks. A good rule of thumb is to treat the appraisal like an open house! Clean and declutter every room, vacuum, and scrub to ensure your home is as presentable and appealing as possible.
- Curb Appeal: First impressions can have a huge impact when it comes to an appraisal. Spending some time ensuring the outside of your property from your driveway entrance to front step is clean and welcoming can make a world of difference.
- Visibility: The appraiser must be able to see every room of the home, no exceptions. Refusal to allow an appraiser to see any room can cause issues and potentially kill your deal. If there are any issues with any spaces of your home, be sure to take care of them in advance to allow the appraiser full access.
- Upgrades and Features: Ensuring the appraiser is aware of any upgrades and features can go a long way. Make a list and include everything from plumbing and electrical to new floors, new appliances, etc. This way they have a reference as to what has been updated and how recent or professional that work was done.
- Be Prudent About Upgrades: While the bathroom and kitchen are popular areas, they are not necessarily the be-all-end-all for getting a higher home value. These renovations can be quite costly so it is a good idea to be prudent about how you spend your money and instead, focus on easy changes such as new paint, new light fixtures or plumbing and updated flooring to avoid breaking the bank while still having your home look fresh.
- Know Your Neighbourhood: You already know where you live better than the appraiser. Taking a look at similar homes in your neighbourhood and noting what they sold for will give you a ballpark. If your appraisal comes in low, you will be prepared to discuss with the appraiser the examples from your area and why you believe you property is worth more.
- Be Polite: The appraiser is there to get in and get out. Avoid asking them too many questions or making too many comments and simply be prepared should they have questions. Once they have completed the review of your home, that is a good time to bring up any comments you might have.
Don’t forget to contact a mortgage expert if you have any questions about your existing home or mortgage, or if you are looking to sell and relocate in the future!