*Guest post from 1300 Rubbish
How to Get the Best Deal: 7 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Appraisal
Your home is probably the most expensive thing that you own. When it comes time to sell it, you want to be sure you’re getting the full value. Before you have your home appraised, you’ll need to do a few things to help you fetch top dollar. Even if you spend some money to make changes or improvements, you’ll get even more back when you find the perfect buyer.
1. Clean the Yard
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but most people judge a house by its yard. If your grass is dead and there are dead tree limbs hanging around, you might want to fix those issues before you have the home appraised. The entire inside could be built from marble and gold, but no one will want to come inside and see it if the yard suggests a different story.
2. Make Cosmetic Improvements
It’s great when the faucets and the lighting fixtures work properly. It’s less great when they’ve been working just fine for a few decades. It might not matter if things are in perfect working order if they’re seriously out of date. When a home isn’t modern, appraisers look at older fixtures and features as things that should be fixed or improved. If you have a weekend and some spare cash, give your home a modern touch.
3. Fix the Surface
The surfaces of your home, like the walls and floors, will need to be tended to. Small cracks in the walls should be patched. A new coat of paint can make aging walls look brand new again. Old carpet can really drag down the value of a house, so replace it. New carpet is better than raggedy carpet, but tile and hardwood are both superior alternatives. The outer surface of your house counts as well. Repaint and replace any siding that looks worse for wear.
4. Fix the Structure
The internal parts of your home are even more important than the external parts of your home. A gorgeous house ravaged by water damage is hardly worth a thing. Bad plumbing or unsafe wiring can make a house uninhabitable, even if it’s clean and modern. Check your pipes and wires. Old roofs often cause trouble, especially if they’re leaky. Have a professional take a look at yours.
5. Get Rid of Rubbish
Old disassembled sheds, remnants and debris from repairs and remodels, and broken appliances sitting around won’t do you any favors when appraisal day comes. Have these things hauled away and do a thorough decluttering. It’s easier to get a good look at your house and your yard if it isn’t cluttered up by junk. The same goes for regular household clutter. Consider placing it in storage or neatly packing it and setting it aside.
6. Check Your Windows
If you’ve lived in your house for a while, you might have problems with the windows. Maybe they leak when it rains. Perhaps you hit a rock with the lawn mower, sending it up in the air just high enough to create a small chip or crack in the window. Appraisers will look at your windows to make sure they’re in good condition and properly protecting the house from the elements. You might want to replace some windows that won’t make the cut.
7. Make a List of Improvements
Some improvements or changes you’ve made won’t be readily apparent to the appraiser. If you just got a new roof last year or replaced your HVAC unit last summer, make a note of it. New things designed to last a long time can add a surprising amount of value to your home. Create a list of improvements to hand the appraiser before the appraisal start. Your receipts for the work you had done can serve as proof that you’ve made updates.
Don’t rush your appraisal if you don’t feel as though you’re ready. It’s better to take your time getting things right the first go around than it is to have two appraisals. Just make sure you’re thorough and everything’s in order, and the appraisal is likely to go in your favor.
Melanie Saunders is a blogger and content manager at 1300 Rubbish– experts in the field of rubbish and junk removal. Personally, a huge fan of sustainability and green living.