An appraiser starts by compiling a list of comps (comparable listings) from the local area. They’ll compare homes that are similar in square footage, location and style that have sold recently. Next they’ll assess your home in person to determine condition, and learn anything that may impact the value. And then math. You can’t fudge math. But there are things you can do to make your best first impression. Studies show that mood affects judgement, so set the mood! We’ve got a few tips, via Realtor.com and some actual appraisers.
Everything. Deep clean, and scrub until it sparkles. An appraiser isn’t going to undervalue your home just because it’s messy. And they’re not going to raise your value just because you have clean windows… consciously.
“Appraisers are people, and they are swayed by smells and how a house feels, even if they aren’t conscious of it.”
Make a folder or file, and gather everything you have about your home. List all upgrades and improvements. Include information about the roof, hvac systems, and major appliances.
“Hand it to them on a silver platter: Here’s my neat, gorgeous house, shown in its best light, and all the things that are awesome about it.”
A study in 2011 found that judges gave out harsher sentences before lunch, and were more lenient after they had eaten. Snickers candy bars have built an entire ad campaign around the wisdom that “You‘re Not You When You‘re Hungry”. Don’t treat it as a bribe… just be a gracious host and offer something to lift your guest’s energy and mood!
Sit down with an experienced real estate agent right from the start, and take a realistic look at your home. Understand the real value of any improvements or renovations you’ve made. Your agent can offer valuable input long before the appraisal, which will help ease the process at the end. Call us to learn more!