Both selling a house and getting an appraisal are a lot like going on a first date. You will want to take the time to primp and prep in order to make your home look its absolute best. When you do it right, you will get the appraisal you want, and the sales price you deserve. As you begin your preparations, the following are five tips that will give you the edge when your date with the appraiser arrives.
- Organize Your Documents. You will want to get all of your documents in order so that the appraiser has the information they need to make the appraisal. You should be able to show the precise size of the property via a land survey, and the results of previous appraisals. You will also want to list all improvements to the property since you bought your home, and whenever possible, you should provide receipts documenting these improvements.
- Clean Out the Clutter. You don't have to send the pets and kids to grandma's house, but you will want to make sure the house is neat and tidy. If you have too much stuff, have a garage sale, go to Goodwill, or stuff the stuff into a storage unit. Cleaning clutter opens up your home and makes it easier for your appraiser to assess the true value of your home. It also appeals to prospective home buyers who will want to see a neat and tidy home to purchase.
- Repair and Renovate. You should invest in minor repairs and renovations that will correct deficiencies in the property. Fix the broken sidewalk, paint the walls white, repair chipped masonry, put in new light bulbs, and patch holes in the drywall. Little fixes are like makeup and will go a long way towards making your home more attractive. Fixing the little dents and dings can go a long way. Typically, a small deficiency can knock $500 or more off the appraisal, so if it costs less than $500 to fix, the time and effort are well worth the investment.
- Landscape. Tend the trees, and trim the bushes. Make sure the grass is cut and that it's a healthy shade of green. You will also want to spiff up flower beds with fresh flowers, and make sure there aren't gaps in the mulch. It is also imperative that you fix holes in your fence and correct any problems you may be having with your irrigation systems. These last two can be costly when you are selling a house, but they are worth the investment because they deficient fences and in-ground irrigation systems can cause big hits on an appraisal.
- Know the Market. If you are not sure what your home is worth, it is worth taking the time to get a ballpark idea. You can research property records from your neighborhood via the county clerk's office, and keep an eye out for recent sales in the local newspaper. You an even talk with your neighbors and pull flyers from other homes that are for sale in your neighborhood. The more you know about the prices homes similar to your home are selling for, the better prepared you will be to discuss and negotiate the appraisal with your appraiser.
Thinking about selling a house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? Your team at RE/MAX DFW Associates will be happy to assist you. From nailing down the appraisal to sealing the deal, our team of professional REALTORSÂ® has the skills and experience that will help you get the sales price you desire.