Selling your home is only half of the process – after the sale is conditional your home needs to pass the appraisal test. Given the importance of this step many clients ask ” How can I improve my Home Appraisal”?
It’s a common myth that “bank appraisals” are always conservatively low, but is that really true? Understanding the appraisal process can shed some light on home values and show you how you can enable your appraiser to substantiate the highest value possible.
First it’s important to understand the rules of engagement. Appraisals are based on recent sales usually limited to the past 6 months sales of comparable properties. In a rapidly rising market this explains why it is often difficult for appraisers to find evidence that proves the current values. Of course the opposite is also true and in a declining market often appraised values can tend to be overstated.
Here are a few ways ways you can help to improve your home appraisal:
- Ensure the Appraiser is knowledgeable about your area. Especially in inner city communities where there are a myriad of factors that affect value and where values are extremely diverse.
- Do your own homework. Appraisers rely on MLS data so if you are aware of private sales or the unique circumstances behind any MLS sales be sure to provide this information to the appraiser. You’ll be doing some of the appraisers work, but the payback could be well worth it.
- Boast about the Calgary Neighborhood Information If there are unique amenities or attractions that locals covet, now is not the time to keep them a secret. Be sure to inform your appraiser.
- Document your improvements. If you’ve spent money on improvements be sure to document and show these to the appraiser. Especially important to point out are those improvements that are not readily apparent such as electrical and plumbing upgrades, insulation and other improvements hidden behind the walls. Don’t be hesitant to show receipts to prove the work you’ve done.
- Understand which improvements add the most value. Kitchens and bathrooms provide the greatest return on your investment. Paint and flooring are next in providing the best bang for your buck, followed by curb appeal and landscaping.
- Clean up. Ensure that the home is meticulously clean and the entryway shows well. Removing excessive furniture can make a home feel larger. Manicure the walkway to the home. Remove clutter and excess of photos and nik-naks. Remove all the magnets off your fridge and pack loose items in boxes that can be stored in the garage.
- Understand your home size. MLS and Appraisal rules state that measured size must be area that is above grade. If adding size to your home understand how this will be measured and accounted for in the future. If you add space below grade, it will not count as added living area.
- Give the Appraiser some space. As in showing any home to a potential client, don’t follow them around breathing over their shoulder. Provide the appraiser some space to let them make their own assessment and take their time to absorb and appreciate the beauty and value of your home.
Remember that appraisers prove value based on sales values in the past, but may not be attuned to market trends going forward. Understanding the current market and trends could enable you to extract many thousands of dollars of value from your home. This is where an expert real estate agent can help a tremendous amount. To ensure that you receive the highest value for your real estate investment before you sell contact Sano Stante Real Estate.