home-appraisalGetting your home appraised can be nerve racking. You’ve invested time and money in your home and know you what you think it is worth. But putting the actual value assessment into the hands of someone else is another story.

Let’s face it, home appraisal forms may not always capture a home’s true value. But a lowball appraisal can derail financing and can potentially kill deals. One study showed that problems with appraisals cause approximately 13 percent of contracts to fail.

The bottom line is home appraisals are here to stay. They are needed when you’re selling, buying and refinancing your home. Mortgage lenders won’t close on a loan that is more than the home appraisal.

There is not need to stress when preparing your home. Here are some tips that will help you get the best possible appraisal no matter what you’re trying to achieve.

Working Safety Equipment. The appraiser has a checklist of safety equipment – some of it is standard and some not so much. Regardless of the elements you have in your home – make sure everything is installed and in good working order. Safety equipment may include smoke alarms, security alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, etc.

Document Improvements. The improvements you’ve made to your home can add up quickly. But they may not raise the valuation of your home dollar for dollar. Carefully saving your receipts to document what you’ve done can help provide you with the credit you desire. Be sure to tell your appraiser about any new additions or improvements you have made. Replaced HVAC units, new roofs, remodeled kitchens, and updated bathrooms can positively impact your appraisal.

Note Local Amenities. Your appraiser may not be as familiar with the community your house is located in. Make a list of attractive selling points that may positively impact your home’s value, e.g. neighborhood developments, schools, mass transit, etc.

Establish a Positive Relationship. As funny as it may seem, many appraisers like proactive buyers who are helpful. Build a rapport that will help him do a good job. Educate and be helpful but don’t “sell.” If you know of a nearby home like yours that has sold for less that what you believe your property value to be, point out why your home is different.

Freshen Up. Take the time to declutter your home inside and out. Work on your curb appeal (note: Joy to link to article about curb appeal) Doing small things like repainting faded walls or replacing rusted fixtures won’t add to your appraisal but it will help your home appear cared for and presentable. Since you’ve already gone through the process of getting your home ready to sell, there shouldn’t be much for you to do.

Remember that a home appraisal—which is different than a home inspection—is typically paid for by the home seller or refinancer. An appraisal typically takes from a few days to a week or two.

Do you need a reliable home appraiser? Your Because You Served Military Benefit ID gives you access to resources related to your home. Reach out to be connected with a Because You Served approved home appraiser today.