Preparing for a home appraisal? Follow these easy steps to showcase your home and maximize your property’s value.

🏡 Think about first impressions

Look at your home and property from the driveway with a critical eye. Remove weeds and trim landscaping, take away toys, tools, dead vehicles and anything else that may be cluttering the yard. Remedy peeling paint, and make an appealing entrance, such as adding a bench and potted plant.

👪 Prepare for your guest

You’re not expected to go overboard in cleaning and polishing, but there are a few things that will make your appraiser more comfortable. Remove or lock up pets, set your heat or AC to a comfortable temperature, dust and remove clutter. For example, kitchen counters should be nearly empty. Clear items that have accumulated, including mail, and neatly store in cabinets or closets. The same goes for bath counters and living area floor spaces. This helps areas appear more spacious. Put away laundry and toys, empty trash bins and recyclables. Hide a solid air freshener with a natural scent (avoid florals) out of sight. Cinnamon scent works well for the kitchen, while linen is appropriate for a bedroom or walk-in closet, but don’t put one in every room! The scent should be subtle, not overpowering.

🔨 Remedy repairs

Appraisers will not try and estimate the cost of every little deficiency, but will often make value deductions in $500 increments. Even relativity minor repairs can add up quick and hurt your appraisal. Remove mildew from window frames, fix or replace all non-functioning door latches/handles, torn screens, and drippy faucets and broken light fixtures. If you have pets or are a smoker, you may not notice odors in your home. Consider having your carpets professionally cleaned, and clean all fabric furniture with upholstery cleaner to alleviate smells.

⚠️ Double Check the Basics

Do your own pre-inspection to make sure all lights, doors and windows function properly. An appraiser will take these things into account when estimating the home’s effective age, which could make the home older than its actual age. The effective age will be compared against other homes of the same age when determining values.

📝 Make a List of Repairs and Upgrades

It is to your benefit to point out improvements and special features of the home. Make a written list to give to the appraiser, because they may not recall everything you tell them verbally.

🧐 Don’t hound the appraiser

Appraisers are trained to be thorough and objective. If you follow them around extolling the virtues of your home, you may annoy them. Be prepared and friendly, hand them your list of improvements upon arrival, and be available to answer questions without hovering.

Preparing for an appraiser is very much like staging your home for sale- make the effort to have your home appear appealing and trouble-free.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Call Tom Verhelst at 218-205-2604 | Karen Zell at 218-731-6836 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

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