How to Get a Better House Appraisal

If you’re refinancing or selling your house, the lender will need an appraisal on your house. The appraisal should equal or exceed the amount requested for your loan in order for the creditor to accept the loan. When home values drop in an area, refinancing and selling can become harder if you have little equity in your house. In that case, an appraised value gap of a couple of thousand bucks can make the difference between loan approval and denial. Take steps to make certain that you receive the appraisal value potential.

Ask a walk-through appraisal from the lender. Most assessments are ready by comparing earnings of houses in your area, determining a sales cost per square foot, then implementing that sales cost per square foot into the square footage of your house. The appraiser will likely carry out a “drive-by” appraisal, which basically means he gives the outside of the home a cursory inspection and doesn’t request to see the interior unless something appears amiss. A walk-through inspection offers you an opportunity to point out the updates inside your house that the normal house in your area doesn’t contain.

Clean your home thoroughly and remove all clutter, outside and indoors. While clutter and dirt doesn’t necessarily reduce the appraised value of your house, it can affect the appraiser’s overall opinion of the house and prevent her from discovering upgraded items. A clutter-free house makes a much better impression on potential customers.

Make all repairs that are observable necessary to your home. Repair or replace tile and carpeting, or cover those sections of floors. Eliminate old, cracked or mildewed caulk and recaulk wet areas. Fix hairline cracks in drywall.

Eliminate stained or peeling paint and touch up or repaint whole areas as needed, both in the interior and exterior of your home. If you’ve had water damage that has been repaired, ensure that your ceilings or other parts of your house don’t signify that past problem.

Upgrade your landscaping with additional bushes and flowers. Landscaping can not only raise your appraised value, but offers more curb appeal to prospective buyers. Secure loose boards on your fencing and replace rotten planks.

Make a list of upgrades to your home, both interior and exterior, which aren’t standard to your area and give the list to the appraiser. Some updates that can improve a home’s worth include updated countertops and floors, extensive trim carpentry or built-ins, and energy-efficienct updates to appliances, insulation and windows.

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