A home appraisal should be an objective, unbiased estimate of a home's value based on numerous variables, such as comparable homes in the neighborhood, improvements made, square footage, and more. Securing a home appraisal is a key part of the homebuying process that assures the lender the sale price is appropriate.
While federal prohibitions against discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act extend to appraisals, the human factor may sometimes slip through the cracks. To make sure your home gets a fair, accurate assessment, real estate agents will typically advise their clients to do the following:
Depersonalize your home: remove all personal items for the appraisal, such as family photos and artwork.
Don't attend the appraisal in person: it is best for homeowners not to attend the appraisal in person and let their agents handle the process.
Document all of the upgrades you made: if you have made piecemeal updates to your home over the years, it is important to have the documentation that can prove when they were done and how much they cost. Even small upgrades, such as getting a new dishwasher, may have an impact on your home's price.
In addition to these tips, by making sure that the home is clean and free of needed repairs, the homeowner can increase the appraised values. Some common repairs that should be addressed include cracks, stained walls or carpets, damaged flooring, leaky faucets, and broken or damaged windows. It is also important for homeowners to assess the exterior of the home. Repainting trim, cleaning garage doors and siding, and touching up landscaping can all add to the appraised home value.
When you are ready to buy a home, I would love to meet with you about your home buying options. We can review your finances and decide which home loan program is right for you. Call me today to set up an appointment.