How to Prepare for an Appraisal
In my profession as a real estate broker, many property owners have sought my advice on how they can prepare when the bank appraiser drop by their place and do the inspection. What will the appraiser be appraising?
They understand that an appraisal report is a mandatory requirement of any financing institution. It is a make or break in the negotiation process. A high appraisal report means lower cash out [equity] for buyers. High equity payout is oftentimes the culprit that suppresses the interest of a buyer to proceed into the selling process.
Remember this: An appraisal is a key part of the home buying and selling process. If someone is buying a home, the appraisal will impact the amount of loan a prospective buyer gets. On the opposite end, an owner selling a home prefers an appraisal that go well to support potential buyers’ financing.
And it takes preparation to ensure a favorable appraisal report. Here are practical tips to maximize the value of the property for sale.
1. PREPARE EARLY
Once the decision has been made to sell the property, the first thing to do is prepare the house way before an interested buyer comes along.
An appraiser checks on the overall condition of the home; and visualizing every nook without a furniture. He will be looking for any cracks on the floor, water marks on the ceiling, broken fixture and of course, all improvements introduced to the property. Have an honest and thorough evaluation and act on it. A 10,000 worth of repair may add millions on the value of the property.
2. CLEAN THE PROPERTY
A clean house gives an impression that proper maintenance and attention have been given to the property. Conversely, a filthy and dimly-looking rooms will project the opposite. The appraiser will have a bad impression on unclean property, thinking that there are repairs that need to be done behind the dusty walls and piles of disorganized furniture.
First good impression has its benefits. Mark and leave a positive one to the property appraiser.
3. DO NOT FORGET THE GREENS
It pays to clean and make the interior tidy; however, bear in mind that the appraiser will likewise check on the exterior of the house prior to ringing the doorbell. There is no need to have the facade repainted as appraisers are well aware that exteriors are exposed to so many elements. But how one tends the lawn has something to say about the maintenance of the house. Remember to regularly trim the grass, rake the leaves and tidy things up if you want to put your best foot forward. Keep an eye on obvious problems — leaves hanging out of your gutters, an run down deck and other such issues.
4. REPAIR BEFORE APPRAISAL
If minor carpentry or plumbing works have to be done prior to the actual appraisal of the property then it has to be given a priority. No property owner would let an appraiser find these items as it is certainly can influence the assessment in regards to the value of the property. It will definitely knock some value off of the property for sale.
5. LIST THE IMPROVEMENTS AND ITS COST
An appraiser normally takes down notes of all of his observation. They are incidents, however, that upgrades done on the property may slipped their keen observation. And it will be handy if property owners can furnish a copy of the list of improvements done as well as the cost. Renovations done in the last five years is worth noting and is valuable. This is one of the ways to help appraiser calculate the value of the house for sale.
6. SEEK BROKER ASSISTANCE
What does a Licensed Broker have to do with preparing for an appraisal? A lot.
Brokers have experience working with appraisers and they can, with a quick tour of the property, provide insights on what areas of concern need to be given an attention to before an appraiser knocks on the door. They [broker] can also accompany the appraiser during the appraisal day itself to inform the appraiser of the current market value in the area, highlight the major improvements done on the house etc.
The broker may also guide the appraiser regarding the various commercial establishments near the property as well as nearby schools, hospitals and malls. A property in close proximity to these commercial shops has an effect to the evaluation, too.
Most importantly, the broker can talk about the latest sale made in the area. A house with similar specifications as the one being for sale and was sold within the past six moths to a year can help in assessing the acceptable selling price in the location.
In summary, here’s the list of what every appraiser will be appraising:
1. Condition of the house exterior.
2. Condition of the house interior.
3. The total lot and floor area of the house.
4. Upgrades and improvements done to the property.
5. Neighborhood in which the property for sale is located.