The Appraiser is Coming!

In last month’s blog I introduced you to the key attributes a licensed appraiser will look at to determine your home’s fair market value. My sellers frequently ask what they can do ensure that the appraiser’s assessment agrees with the price in the sales contract.

Should they polish the garage floor, paint the crawl space, or vacuum the refrigerator coils before he arrives?

OK, no one has actually asked me about those specific concerns :-), but many wonder just how much attention to detail the appraiser will pay.

The answer is that you don’t have to become a cleaning fanatic, nor fret over most of the appraiser’s checklist because you have no control over these construction, geographic and market variables. But there certainly are some things you SHOULD DO to help your cause which are listed in blue. By addressing these few conditions over which you have full control, you’ll score higher points with the appraiser.

Consistency – Does the house conform to the neighborhood in use, stye, condition?
Curb appeal – Does the house give a favorable impression in the neighborhood? Maintain your front yard, landscaping and home’s exterior appearance. Keep driveway clear.
Condition – Is the home safe, sound and habitable? You probably already made the necessary repairs to get your house ready to sell so just stay on top of anything new that may come up. Clean and prepare your home on appraisal day just as you did to show it to potential buyers.
Quality– Referring to construction materials, architectural details and improvements. Provide a list of the improvements and significant maintenance items (like roof, HVAC) you’ve made in the past 15 years and the approximate cost.
Construction and Layout – Type of house is it, number of rooms, square footage, age, room flow.
Location – Is the home located in an urban, suburban or rural area?
Proximity to Commercial/Retail – Are shopping conveniences nearby?
Supply and Demand – Is the market soft or hot?
Next month I’ll cover what I, as your agent, can do to influence an appraiser’s assessment of your home’s value.