A critical part of
selling a home is the appraisal. Here’s how to
plan for it.
You have a contract
to sell your home and now the appraiser is
coming. The appraisal needs to come in at a good
price in order for your buyer to get his loan.
What should you do?
typically tell people not to do anything special
before they come. They tell the owner they see
lots of houses and they can look past a little
clutter and dust. “Don’t be nervous,” they
counsel. Appraisers are sincere people. I’m sure
they mean what they say.
On the other hand,
appraisers are human. They respond to
cleanliness and order and to good maintenance
the same way buyers do. If you’ve let your hair
down, get your home back into “show” condition
before the appraiser comes.
know about a tidy approach to your home, well
mulched flower beds, door knobs that are
attached firmly and work smoothly, lack of
finger prints, lack of clutter, and all the rest
applies. Take a look at a “Uniform Residential
Appraisal Report” form if you doubt me. The age
of the home and the “effective age” are asked
for under the “General Description.” Don’t you
think how well your home appears to be cared for
affects the number that appears under “effective
Appraisal Report requires information about
materials (and their condition) used for floors,
walls, trim and finishing elements, bathroom
floors and wainscots, and for interior doors.
Appraisers train themselves to notice these
details. If yours are dusted, polished, and free
of scratches and fingerprints, don’t you think
you might be giving your appraisal a nudge in
the right direction?
The Report also
asks about kitchen equipment (refrigerator,
range and oven, disposal, dishwasher, fan and
hood, microwave, and washer and dryer). Do you
think it’d be a good idea to have them clean and
The Report asks
about amenities such as fireplaces, patios,
decks, porches, fences, pools, and sheds. If an
appraiser is going to take special note of such
things, shouldn’t they be swept, cleaned, and
have paint in good condition? Also, clean out
the gutters if they need it. If it should be
raining on the day your appraisal is done, you
want your house to handle the rain water well.
Let me share the
“comments” section of an appraisal which got the
owners what they wanted. I think it’ll give you
a good feel for what you need to do. “The
subject is well maintained and no physical,
functional or external inadequacies were noted.
Marketability is enhanced by hardwood flooring
throughout a majority of the home, an updated
kitchen, fresh interior and exterior paint,
transom windows, built-ins, a front porch, a
rear patio, a large storage shed, 4 fireplaces,
The appraiser is
a human being. Make sure you do everything you
can to appeal to them and you’ll get a good
Raynor James is
with the FSBO site -
- FSBO homes for sale by owner. Visit our "sell
my home" page -http://www.fsboamerica.org/seller.cfm
- to sell your house yourself with a free 1