You put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into preparing your home so it would show well and sell for top dollar. Now how do you ensure the appraisal comes in at or above the sales price?

We just dealt with this with the sale of our house. One of the best bits of advice I received is to “Pretend you are selling your home to the Appraiser”. In order to do this you and your realtor will want to do several things.

Custom home after staging

First, once the appraiser has been identified email them good quality photos of the house. Provide pictures of the entire house. Ensure you include pictures of all those things that add value to the home. For example, if you have added hardwood floors or new lighting fixtures, take pictures of those items. Include pictures of the exterior of the house and the yard especially if you have features that are great selling points in the yard, e.g., water feature. Add descriptors to the pictures explaining all that was done. For example, we totally gutted our kitchen and put in all new appliances, new high-end cabinetry, new granite counter tops, a new tile floor and new kitchen lighting. So in our package we took several pictures of the kitchen from all different angles and added notes on all that had been done to the kitchen. We also included the cost to do the remodel.

Make sure the house looks its very best when the appraiser is scheduled to come view it. You want the house to make a great impression as soon as the appraiser pulls up to the curb. Pay attention to your curb appeal, put away any thing that clutters the home, have the kitchen and bathrooms spotlessly clean.

Have a package ready for the appraiser that includes all the upgrades, improvements, renovations, extras, etc. completed or added to the home. You may also want to include the cost of those improvements. For example, you may say, “replaced furnace and air conditioning in January – $6,000. Added new granite counter tops in back-yard-2002-92014 – $9,000.” List EVERYTHING that helps to improve the house or its desirability to buyers. Brag about your house!

If there are amenities in this home or in the neighborhood that help make this house more desirable to buyers, list them in the package for the appraiser. That could be highly rated schools, parks, walking trails, specialty shopping, golf courses, etc.

Have your realtor include the houses he/she used as comps in order to determine the listing price. This should include properties that have sold for more AND those that sold for less than your house. These are what the appraiser uses and so you want your package in line with those requirements. If you had multiple offers, let the appraiser know that. That again shows buyer interest and makes your sales price a viable price.

Be available to answer questions the appraiser may have. Be honest with your answers.

All of these steps will help to ensure that you get the best appraisal possible for your home.




Written by Kevin Fletcher