How to Get a Higher Appraisal

An appraisal provides you with information on a home's current value. Appraisers take into account a dwelling's condition and features and how it compares to other similar property for sale in the same area. Although a property owner cannot control the real estate market, you can take steps to get a higher appraisal.


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    Remove clutter. Cluttered rooms not only feel smaller and darker, the clutter may also make it difficult for an appraiser to measure the dimensions of the rooms, a vital part of the appraisal.
    • Organize closets. Consider renting a temporary storage space if you find yourself stuffing your closets with clutter in an attempt to quickly clean before the appraisal.
    • Make sure entrances to any attics or crawl spaces are clear.
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    Clean your home. Complete a thorough cleaning to give the best first impression. Cleaning your house or apartment can help show off its best features. Dirty windows and dingy walls give the impression that you may not maintain your home properly.
    • Scrub tile, vinyl or wood floors.
    • Wash washable wall surfaces and kitchen cabinets.
    • Polish furniture and appliances.
    • Clean windows inside and out.
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    Correct easily fixable problems prior to the appraisal. Put in the effort to touch-up paint, re-caulk tubs or showers if needed, and fix leaky faucets.
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    Consider hiring a home inspector before scheduling the appraisal. If you suspect your dwelling may have any potential hazards or structural problems, schedule the inspection and find out so you can handle any problems that come to light.
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    Call appraisers in your area and ask for suggestions. Local appraisers may be willing to give you recommendations on what you can do to maximize your home's value.
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    Ask a friend to view your house. Having another set of eyes review your house before the appraisal can help you spot any problem areas or issues you may have overlooked.
    • Provide your friend with paper and pencil to record any observations.
    • Make sure you have the friend inspect the exterior of the house as well as the interior rooms.
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    Improve your curb appeal. If your home has a yard, this is an area where you can make a big impression with relatively little effort in comparison to updates inside a house.
    • Mow your lawn and trim the edges of the yard and any landscaping beds.
    • Weed any gardens or beds.
    • Plant new plants or shrubs if needed.
    • Check your front door. Repair it if you notice any peeling paint or other problems.
    • Remove debris and clutter from outdoor areas such as front or back porches.
    • Get rid of any spider webs or wasp nests around entryways.
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    Research the norms in your area for homes in your price range. For example, read local real estate listings to find out if homes selling for comparable prices have similar amenities.
    • Becoming informed on your local real estate market can help you better understand the results of your home appraisal and help you make educated decisions about home improvement projects. For example, if most homes selling for a similar price have granite counter-tops and yours does not, that might be an area where you can add value.
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    Make updates and home improvements before the real estate appraisal. If you are already planning to replace old, stained carpet, do so now. The same is true of any other major update such as replacing an old appliance or repairing or replacing a roof.
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    Prepare a list with any recent updates to the home. The additional information ensures that the appraiser will notice the improvements during the walk-through and also gives the appraiser a record to consult while writing up the appraisal.
    • Include what you did and when the work was completed.
    • Provide the list to the appraiser upon arrival.
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    Hire an experienced appraiser. Look for someone who has worked in your area a number of years and is very familiar with your current local market. The value of your home is heavily influenced by the market value of similar homes in your area.
    • Ask a local real estate agent or mortgage broker for recommendations if you don't know where to start your search.

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