The most straightforward, simple, and effective way of boosting your home’s appraisal value is to invest in small repairs and appliance updates. These repairs add value to the house by making it more modern, liveable and may even give it a fresh look. In some cases, you don’t even need to spend any money; a little tidying up and deep cleaning could give you the right edge you need to increase the appraisal value of your home.
Before you start looking at ways to increase your home’s appraisal value, it is crucial to understand the #factors that affect home appraisal value. This way, you can make a general assessment of your asset’s rough value and focus on areas that actually need improvement. You can also categorize the factors depending on if they are under your control or dependant only on external conditions, e.g., current market trends.
In this article, we’ll focus on simple yet affordable steps you can employ to increase your property’s appraisal value, whether for a refinance or resale.
Minor financial investments
You don’t need major changes that require thousands of dollars to improve your home’s value. Surprisingly, there are a handful of improvements that are worth considering.
There is a general agreement that most appraisers measure a home’s estimate in increments of $500. If you have some small issues like a faulty switch, and you leave it to be discovered by the appraiser, it’s going to knock some value off your home. However, these improvements begin to add up. Some other changes are more noticeable and could cause a significant boost. Some changes you could make are listed below.
The biggest secret in home improvements is a new, fresh paint job. It’s an affordable way to improve your home’s appearance and goes a long way for first impressions. If the paint on your home has started fading or cracking at parts, consider retouching it. Add a fresh coat that will leave you and your guests feeling like the house received a facelift.
The trend recently is to choose neutral colors. It adds a timeless, minimalist look to your home and something buyers are actively looking for.
Fix the flooring
Replacing the entire flooring is generally very expensive and does not have a large ROI. Instead, focus only on fixing just the damaged section. That could include buffing the floors or adding an extra shine to them. If there’s a part of your home where the flooring is worn, consider replacing or updating only that area.
If you have a carpeted floor, get it thoroughly cleaned by a professional a few days before the appraisal. In places where the carpet is too shabby or weathered, remove it and place a small rug on top.
Search through current buying trends and learn what kind of appliances buyers are looking for when purchasing a home. Stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors are a big yes; if possible, get these for your home.
Bathrooms and kitchens are always two of the most important parts that determine a home’s worth. While it is essential to keep them clean before an appraisal, it’s also beneficial to make some changes. For example, refinishing the marble or laminate tops, fixing and painting the cabinets, installing new light fixtures, adding useful and latest appliances (like garbage disposal, ceiling fans), etc. These appliance upgrades go a long way as buyers tour your home.
A good first impression matters. A warm, clean, and welcoming appearance means the home has been cared for and is in good condition. On the other hand, a dirty, worn down look gives the impression that the house is probably in a state of disrepair. Here are some simple things you can do to create curb appeal
- Roof: Fix the roof and then clean it properly. Any growth like moss should be removed to give the front a brand new feel.
- Landscaping: Maintain the flowerbeds, weed out any extra growth, trim the hedges, and add some fresh mulch. Cleaning the lawn and cutting the grass is an added plus.
- Powerwash: Dedicate some time to cleaning the pavement, driveway, and patio.
- Fence: Fix the fence of your house if you already have one. However, if you don’t, adding a new one wouldn’t be ideal since it won’t increase the value by as much compared to what you’d be spending on it.
Check for any faulty switches or broken bulbs in your home and get them fixed. Also, check that your HVAC system, electrical system, and plumbing are functional and in good condition. You can make your home more tech-savvy with little updates like a remote-controlled thermostat, surveillance systems, etc. but that’s completely optional.
Other than this, check the windows, doors, doorknobs, and any other thing like cupboards and get them fixed if broken, otherwise just make sure they’re clean.
Look out for any lingering odors in the home or moldy areas and work on getting rid of them. When the appraiser comes, see to it that there aren’t any dirty dishes in the sink or dirty laundry lying around. After all, appraisers, too, are human and are affected by these things.
Interacting with the appraiser
Before the appraiser visits your home, make sure you have all the necessary documents that they might require. Be polite when you talk to them and always be ready and willing to answer any questions they might have. However, don’t follow them around from room to room or tail them; give them enough space and privacy to inspect with satisfaction.
Review previous appraisals and collect information on recent selling prices of similar homes in the area. You can mention these to the appraiser along with any other useful information like a recent upgrade in your neighborhood, which has led to an increase in the overall value of the area. If there are excellent and reputable institutes like a school, hospital, fire department, etc. nearby, and the appraiser isn’t familiar with the local area, tell him about those too.
When the appraiser is going through the house, point out any renovations or recent changes but don’t be too pushy and slide them in between casual conversation. Keep records of these changes, i.e., any receipts or warranties; these may help both the appraiser and the buyer.
Review the report yourself
If you’re a homeowner getting an appraisal done, you’ll be hiring the appraiser yourself, and they’ll be required to submit a detailed report listing all the findings. Or, if you’re looking to refinance, the lender will most likely arrange for the appraisal. Even in this case, you can request a copy of the report for a small financial fee. The findings will also include reasons for any deductions, and you can check those yourself. If you’re not satisfied with the appraisal or the end value estimated, you can always go for a second opinion and compare the two results.
Make informed decisions
Whatever updates or revamps you go for, make sure that they pay off in the long run and are in agreement with current market standards. Spend a little time researching what’s popular, what most people look for, and alter your home according to that. It can also help to talk with others who have recently sold their house in the region and have already dealt with all this. One of the most important things is maintaining a budget and not going overboard in your renovations, which might cost you more than what the return is worth.
When hiring an appraiser, make sure it’s someone you trust and someone who will be completely neutral and objective. With these tips, you’re well on your way to increase your property’s value while not being too extravagant in your spending.