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How‌ ‌to‌ ‌prepare‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌home‌ ‌appraisal‌ ‌refinance‌ 

 June 30, 2021

By Scott Teesdale  

minutes read time

Having your home appraised for a refinance will inform your lender what it’s worth before they extend you a loan. You can prepare for a home appraisal refinance by doing things like repairing damages, updating areas, cleaning, and making sure any safety equipment you have is installed correctly. As a homeowner, your goal is to get as high as an appraisal as possible so going the extra length will help avoid any surprises later (i.e., a low appraisal value).

There are a few more ways you can prepare for a home appraisal refinance, but those are the main ones you want to focus on depending on how often you refinance your home. These are some common questions that should be answered while preparing for a home appraisal refinance: 

  • What does an appraiser look for in a refinance?
  • What hurts a home appraisal?
  • What adds value to home appraisal?

Furthermore, if you’re looking to prepare for a home appraisal refinance then I recommend researching other factors that affect home appraisal value.

What does an appraiser look for in a refinance?

Before you can prepare for a home appraisal refinance, you must first be able to identify what an appraiser will look for during the appraisal process. If you can capitalize on what the appraisal will appraise in a home then you can better ensure your chances of getting a higher value in the refinance. 

Most times, appraisers look at what the buyer might have to do to a home if they decide to purchase it. One basic thing you can do as the seller to make sure your home looks great for an appraiser is freshening your home’s paint. Not just on the interior but on the exterior as well, if possible.

By doing this, you can make an immediate impact on the appearance of your home and instantly boost the chances of your appraiser noticing how nice your home is. 

The same thing goes for removing clutter or trash from your home. These are basic essentials that every appraiser will walk in and take note of before really even inspecting your home. You can take care of them on your own without spending a lot of money in the process. The more you’re informed, the better decisions you can make on how to go about getting a higher appraisal resale value for your home.

Besides these two easy fixes for appraisers, making sure any safety equipment in your home is properly working and repairing obvious damages like holes in walls is another great way to make sure your appraisal goes well. 

But remember, an appraiser is sent to your house to discover flaws and decide how they might hinder the value of your home. They will thoroughly dig around to find things that you were not aware of.

What hurts a home appraisal?

The biggest factor that hurts a home appraisal is damages. It’s because that’s one of the major things appraisers look for. Their job is to find damages, assess them, and then report that in the overall value of your home. 

If you’ve always taken good care of your home then you might have less to worry about than someone who hasn’t. That $400 leak in your roof that you didn’t fix could become a $4,000 reduction in value of your home if an appraiser finds it.

That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a professional home inspector to come check on your home in the years leading up to a home appraisal refinance. They can give you updates on different damages and repairs that need done. You would normally see a doctor for a check-up on your health so why not get an inspector to give your house a check-up?

What adds value to home appraisal?

When getting ready for a home appraisal, you might decide to take a proactive approach and look at what specific actions you can do to add value to your appraisals. This means your past the step of understanding what an appraiser is looking for and onto the next step of specifically targeting pieces of your home that you can use to raise the overall appraisal value you receive. 

Historically, improvements in bathrooms and kitchens offer the highest return in renovation investment. If you’re going to renovate areas to make them look nicer, targeting these two areas first is the way to go. It makes sense that kitchen bathroom improvements increase resale value on a home because those are sensitive and important areas for most people. 

One key that you’ll want to keep in mind is that renovations to anything above ground level will make you more of a return during an appraisal. Basements add the least amount of value to a home so as long as you remove any clutter from your basement you might not have to worry about actually renovating anything down there. 

Besides renovations, other actions you could take to improve the value of your home include installing solar panels and making sure the landscaping of your property-hedges, trees, grass-is taken care of.

Preparing for home appraisal refinance isn’t rocket science

At the end of the day, to get a higher value from your appraisal refinance you just need to be proactive about how you take care of your home. A fresh coat of paint on the inside and outside of your home, mowing your lawn, and removing clutter might be all you need to increase the value of your home. 

If you’ve already taken care of your home over the years then you might not have to worry as much about it compared to someone who has damages that need to be fixed. 

Appraisers aren’t there to ruin you. They are hired by third-party companies to do their appraisal. This means neither the lender or the homeowner will have a decision in the appraiser’s value of a home. 

Just make sure any damages you can think of are repaired and your home looks tidy. You’ll find that your home appraisal refinance value will be higher than you think.

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I use data and technology to help Millennials navigate the ins-and-outs of buying or selling a home in today's market. From appraisals to mortgages to zoning, I cover it all with the goal to teach others. Connect with me on social via the icons above.

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