Table of Contents
By Rebecca Worthington
If you’re selling or refinancing your house, an appraisal is necessary. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true market value of a home for financing or refinancing purposes, providing lenders with an accurate picture of the home’s worth. You’ll want to put your home’s best face forward to get the best value.
A licensed home appraiser will examine the interior and exterior of your home, taking note of size and condition. The appraiser will also consider current housing market values, as well as homes that recently sold in your neighborhood. After review, the appraiser will submit a report on the value of your home. Here are tips to help prepare for the appraisal.
What home appraisers look for
• Property size: This includes square footage, the number and types of rooms, as well as outdoor space.
• Interior condition: In addition to general appearance, plumbing, electrical systems and HVAC will be checked.
• Exterior condition: In addition to appearance, an appraiser will check the condition of the roof, foundation and exterior walls/siding.
• Home improvements: Any work you’ve done on the house to improve the condition/value will be taken into consideration. This might include new flooring,installing central air or a kitchen remodel.
10 tips to better prepare for appraisal of your home
1. To begin to prepare for an appraisal, take a walk-around tour of your home, both the interior and exterior. Take note of things that need to be repaired or improved. Be critical, with an eye out for damage or disrepair. Make alist of quick fixes and other repairs.
2. Make any minor repairs and address cosmetic issues as needed. This might include things you found on your own inspection, such as leaky faucets, loose carpeting, a missing handrail, missing light fixtures, loose floorboards or a much-needed gutter cleaning.
3. To prepare for an appraisal, clean your home and clear it of all clutter. This includes both inside and out. A thorough cleaning can give your home a fresh look and feel. This includes a power wash of the exterior if needed.
4. Improve the look of the interior inexpensively with a fresh coat of paint where needed. Make other minor enhancements you think are needed. This might include new hardware for cabinets or replacing a section of damaged flooring.
5. Improve the curb appeal of your home by trimming bushes and trees, mowing the lawn, clearing clutter and weeding flower beds. Tidying up and adding some flowers can enhance the curb appeal.
6. Be sure everything is in proper working order. This includes HVAC, appliances and all safety equipment, such as smoke alarms and a security system if you have one.
7. Share any home improvements and upgrades you’ve made with the appraiser. This might include a new roof, new windows, new HVAC, kitchen or bath remodel. Provide the appraiser with a detailed list.
8. Be polite. Be available when the appraiser is on-site to answer any questions and provide requested information.
9. Keep your pets in a separate area while the appraiser is inspecting your home.
10. Provide easy access to all areas of the home. Turn on lights and open doors.
The minor repairs and fixes we mention should not cost a ton of money. If you face a larger repair, you may want to talk to a professional to see if it is worth the cost. That may depend on if your goal is selling or refinancing. We don’t suggest embarking on a major remodel or costly repair unless it is suggested by an expert.
Home loans for every need
Whether you’re buying a new home, refinancing or looking to tap into the equity in your home for an improvement project, Benchmark Federal Credit Union has a loan to fit your needs. Go to www.BenchmarkFCU.org to learn more about Benchmark Mortgagesand Mortgage Refinancing, our low-rate Ultimate HELOC promotion or our fixed-rate Home Equity Loans. We provide our members with financial solutions for life’s benchmarks.
Rebecca Worthington is the Vice President of Community Relations at Benchmark Federal Credit Union. The only federal credit union to exclusively serve Chester County, Benchmark was named Business of the Year by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce. For more information on protecting your financial well-being, visit BenchmarkFCU.org