Even though you’ve found a buyer and accepted an offer, another hurdle remains before you can close the deal: the home appraisal. Performed by a certified, licensed professional, the appraisal is a report of your home’s value on the market. And this valuation determines whether your price is appropriate – that is, whether you actually get the price you want. If the appraisal comes in too low, the buyer probably can’t get sufficient financing to buy your home at your asking price. So you need to do everything you can to make your home appraise at the highest value possible. Read on, then, to find out about the 4 things you should do before a Atlanta home appraisal.
1. Deep Clean and Make Quick Fixes
As with anything else, preparing for your Atlanta home appraisal begins with taking care of the small, basic things. Your first steps, then, should be to deep clean and make quick fixes.
“By the time the home appraisal comes around you’re probably sick of keeping your home so spotless, but do a deep clean this one last time and it should pay off. A home will appear to have more worth when it’s clean, so get your scrub brush out and get down to business. Pay extra attention to areas that might not be on your regular cleaning rotation.”
But don’t stop there, you should make all the small necessary fixes you’ve been putting off. “When an appraiser is evaluating your home, they’re bound to be influenced by any signs – big or small – that a property has not been well maintained. Simple fixes, such as repairing faulty cabinets, making paint touch-ups, and finally taking care of that perpetually running toilet will show that you’ve put time and effort into your home’s condition. It’s worth spending a few hundred dollars upfront to take care of easily fixable problems. Failure to do so may result in losing much more than that amount on your appraisal.”
2. Make Sure Everything Is Working Properly
In the same vein, you also need to make sure everything is working properly before your Atlanta home appraisal. “A home inspector noting a broken fixture may result in a request from the buyer to fix it. A home appraiser noting a broken fixture may result in an under-appraised home.”
The appraiser will pay particular attention to the major home systems, so be sure to check all systems and mechanics out and make any repairs your investigation demands. You need to make sure all of the following are functioning properly:
- HVAC system
- Home security system
- Windows and doors
- Plumbing and fixtures
- Electrical system, appliances, and fixtures
And, then, if you detect any problems make or schedule repairs well before the appraisal.
3. Work on Curb Appeal
And don’t make the mistake of concentrating solely on the inside of your home when preparing for a Atlanta home appraisal. Take care of the outside and enhance curb appeal as much as possible. The simple fact is that curb appeal can increase the appraisal value, so be sure to . . .
- Mow and edge
- Trim bushes, shrubs, and trees
- Pick up all debris
- Lay down new mulch in beds
- Plant flowers
- Strategically place patio accents and potted plants
- Touch up paint
- Power wash siding, sidewalks, and driveway
- Clean out gutters and downspouts
- Paint the front door
You don’t have to go all out and spend a bunch of money on professional landscaping. Just doing these smaller, relatively inexpensive things can help improve the appraisal value. It just takes a critical eye and some elbow grease.
4. Document Your Home Improvements and Upgrades
If you really want your Atlanta home appraisal to go as well as possible, be sure to compile a list of all your improvements and upgrades and present it to the appraiser.
“Upgrades and improvements increase the overall value of your home. Make things a bit easier for your appraiser by compiling a file with proof of all the work you’ve done on the house since you moved in. Did you add a central cooling system? Replace the windows? Add a privacy fence to your backyard? Include sales receipts, paid contractor invoices, and zoning permits if applicable. This helps your appraiser know where to look when they consider your upgrades.”
Sure, your appraiser will see and note improvements and upgrades on her own. But providing a list with supporting documentation will likely incline the appraiser, at a subconscious level, to value your home higher.
And Consult Your Atlanta Agent
Your Atlanta agent may not be an appraiser, but she has been through this process many (maybe hundreds) of times. And that means that your agent has a keen eye for the kinds of things an appraiser will be looking for and that will help your home to appraise for more. So if you’re facing a Atlanta home appraisal, be sure to contact us today at (404) 977-5054.