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How to Get the Highest Value for your Home Appraisal?


Home appraisals are more important than ever to homebuyers and sellers. A low home appraisal can easily stop negotiations in their tracks during a home sale as well as negate the opportunity to refinance for home sellers. Most lenders find it is simply not worth it for them to refinance a home if an appraisal comes in too low.

As a homeowner, whether you are trying to sell your home or refinance, it is important to know how to get the best possible results from your home appraisal. Below are some home appraisal tips to assist you in doing so. Overall, it is important to make sure the look and condition of your home appears cared for and updated.

Toward that end, prior to your appraisal make sure you take the time to spruce up your home. The most important elements to concentrate on are making sure there are no marks on the walls, dirty carpeting or overgrown landscaping. These are the things that will affect the value of your property the most. Keep in mind your home need not look like a layout in a magazine. It should appear to be clean and well-kept.

Curb appeal is also important to getting the highest value possible on your appraisal. One of the most difficult challenges homeowners face today is having their homes compared to foreclosures in the nearby area. With the escalating number of foreclosures around the country, this is an increasing risk. To prevent that problem, make sure your lawn is neatly trimmed and weeds are removed. Hedges should also be trimmed. Condition is critical in the current market.

You should also make a point of keeping an updated list of improvements you have made to your home. Providing a floor plan with the home's square footage can be important as well. Keep in mind that an appraiser might not notice some items and it is your job to point them out. Both large items; such as a new roof or smaller items are all important. Even if it seems minor, such as sealing the tub can be important in terms of boosting the value of your home.

Give your home a thorough once over to make sure there are no problems that might prevent prospective buyers from obtaining a government-insured loan, such as a Veteran's loan or FHA loan. One of the most common problems that can snag such loans includes peeling paint on homes constructed prior to 1978.

In making repairs and improvements to your home prior to an appraisal, try to avoid overspending money on areas that will not return a good yield on your investment. Good areas to focus your money for investment include carpeting, paint, plumbing fixtures and lighting. Appraisers tend to value homes in $500 increments. This can be an important point for homeowners to keep in mind. If you know you have an expensive repair to make, take care of it instead of putting it off. Even if a repair will only cost you $250 to fix, ignoring it could cost you $500 on the final appraised value of your home.

Most homeowners expect appraisers to obtain comps when performing an appraisal. If you are aware of homes in the area that sold without the assistance of a real estate agent, such as a for-sale-by-owner, it's a good idea to provide that information to your appraiser. Homes that sell without the assistance of a Realtor often are not listed in the Multiple Listing Service.

Location is still important, despite the difficult market. Make a point of mentioning any changes that have been made to the local area. For instance, if your area has recently been declared a landmark or historic district, be sure to let the appraiser know. The same goes for any new services or businesses in the immediate area.

When the appraiser arrives, put away your pets and avoid the temptation to follow the appraiser around. Provide him or her with any relevant information and then give them plenty of time and space to conduct a thorough appraisal. Constantly questioning the appraiser or even keeping up continual banter can slow down the appraiser or could even cause them to miss an important item. Save your questions until after the appraisal is complete.

While an appraisal may be a nerve-wracking experience for most homeowners, taking care to ensure your home is in proper order prior to your appraisal can go a long way to helping you garner the highest value possible.


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