Are you thinking about refinancing or selling your home? If so, it is important to know how you can get top dollar from your home appraisal. If you are utilizing a streamlined refinance or if your refinance qualifies for an appraisal waiver, you may be one of the lucky few who can skip the requirements of a property appraisal when refinancing. However, if you do not qualify and are refinancing or selling a home, an appraisal will most likely be required.
When it is time to refinance or sell our homes, we all want to make sure we receive the maximum value from an appraisal. After all, the appraised value can affect the amount of cash we can pull out of the home when refinancing, whether we have enough equity to drop PMI when refinancing, or even the final contract price when we are selling the home. Home appraisal values are largely based on square footage, room count, current market values in the area and the features and condition of the home. When trying to obtain top dollar for your home appraisal, the condition of your home is the one factor you can quickly and most easily affect.
So, how can you get top dollar from your home appraisal? Here are three quick, easy steps to take:
1. Start from the outside.
First impressions matter, so it is important to clean up the exterior of your home, including the yard. Visible signs of disrepair on your home, dead plants or overgrown grass where the appraiser is unable to access all parts of the property can diminish the value. Take the time to spruce up the yard, power wash the house and remove any debris or clutter that does not add extra value.
2. Keep the cleaning streak going on the inside.
You will want to clean and declutter the inside of your home as well. This includes kitchen countertops and bathrooms as well as storage areas like closets, basements and garages. The appraiser will not be able to assign a value to something they may not see or cannot access because of clutter. Touch up paint and make small repairs as well, since the appraiser can take away value from items that may not work.
3. Tout your improvements.
Have a list of improvements you have made to the property available to the appraiser. This can ensure items are not overlooked, especially for those items that may be hidden in the walls such as a new HVAC system with new ductwork. If possible, try to be on site during your appraisal to answer any questions the appraiser may have.
Published August 2020
By: Marlene Sheard
Marlene is a mortgage marketing representative for Ameris Bank and previous sales and marketing president for her local Home Builders Association. She enjoys sharing her experiences for the buying, selling, and financing of homes.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All loans subject to credit approval. This document is not a complete description of all eligibility requirements. Additional program restrictions may apply.