Seller's Guide: Preparing for Your Appraisal

By Home Bay

Posted on February 14th, 2017

There are a number of things you can do to ensure your home appraisal goes smoothly and the appraiser's findings come out in your favor. Keep reading to learn how to prepare for your appraisal.

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How to prepare for your home appraisal

1. Justify your price in writing

To help prove that your home is worth what your buyers are willing to pay for it, provide your appraiser with examples of recently sold homes in your neighborhood that justify your accepted offer price. We always encourage our sellers to provide at least three to five neighborhood comparables that illustrate similar homes selling at or around your home's value. To build the most compelling argument, you'll want to provide data on homes that have the same number of beds and baths and that have similar square footage and features. For example, if your house has a pool, make sure your comp houses also have a pool. Last but not least, you'll want to make sure the homes highlighted in your comps are in a similar condition to yours. If you list with Home Bay, we can help you assemble these comparables.

Ultimately, you want at least one really good comp with an offer price and actual sales price at or above your purchase contract price. If the sales price on the properties you provide are below your purchase price, even after adjustments to accommodate for square footage, condition, etc., there's a good chance your appraisal will come in low.

2. Make a list of any recent upgrades

In the past two to five years, have you put in new flooring? Installed new countertops? Replaced your bathroom vanity? As you know, making updates to your home is expensive. And while an appraiser can look around your home and see that you've done work to it, they have no way of knowing how recently it was done. That's why it's in your best interest to make a list of any upgrades you've done and make note of what they cost you, taking depreciation into consideration.

3. Make a list of any recent repairs

Next, think about repairs. Have you installed a new AC in the past few years? Has the roof been re-tiled? Did you get your pool re-plastered? Just like you did with your upgrades, make note of any major repairs you had done and provide dates for when each repair was completed. Letting your appraiser know that you've invested in the upkeep and maintenance of your house will positively influence their opinion of your home's value.

As you make notes for your appraiser, be honest about when you had upgrades or repairs done, what you had done and how much it cost. Better yet, provide receipts if possible.

4. Note any key neighborhood amenities or features

Are you within walking distance of restaurants, schools or any great neighborhood attractions? Do you have access to any community amenities, like a park, pool or community center? If so, be sure to make note of any and all of these benefits for your appraiser. They may not be familiar with the neighborhood and could be unaware of many of the perks you've come to know and love.

Why Preparation Matters

Appraisers are selected at random and are not always familiar with the local area. Also, many times they do multiple inspections in one day and write their reports in the evening or even the next day. By the time they sit down to write a report on your home, they may have forgotten a few details. That's why making note of any relevant upgrades, repairs and neighborhood perks and providing a copy to your appraiser to review as they write their report can help you get the appraisal results you want.

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Posted in Appraisals