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The Do's and Don'ts of Home Appraisal, Scottsdale Real Estate

The Do's and Don'ts of Home AppraisalThe Do's and Don'ts of Home Appraisal , Scottsdale Real Estate

 

Selling a home was difficult even before the market started to slide. Now every penny counts more than ever — which means that every leaky window, every dangling gutter and every ugly cabinet can make a big difference in the price of your home. While we all have a natural tendency to nest in the places we live, the reality is that many of the changes you make (or don't make) can make or break your home's appraised value.

What to do — and what not to do — before and after a home appraisal?

When remodeling: DO tackle all the major features in each room.

Kitchen — DO have:

  • An open layout
  • Newer matching appliances, stainless steel
  • Extra perks like small beverage refrigerators, dual dishwashers, instant hot water and a central vacuum clean-out
  • Granite countertops
  • Custom cabinetry

DON'T try to fix outdated cabinetry or countertops. These need to be replaced if you want to add value — new hardware won't be enough to fix them.

Bathroom — DO have:

• New fixtures and mirrors

• A freshly painted tub if necessary

• Natural light

• Good ventilation

• New or refaced cabinetry

DON'T let your bathroom feel dark or have any outdated colors or materials.

Exterior —DO:

  • Pick plants that are evergreen and perennial so your yard always has pops of color.
  • Put in new exterior light fixtures.
  • Add on extra touches like shutters or planter boxes to give your exterior charm.
  • Put a fresh coat of paint or stain on the front door.
  • Keep landscaping healthy and not overgrown.
  • Replace worn-out fencing.

DO pay attention to low-cost finishing touches that can make a big difference. Peeling or chipped paint, mildew, exposed insulation or pipe insulation and visible dry rot are small details that your appraiser is sure to notice. If you have a basement, make sure there are no signs of water leaks, moisture or mildew. Visible evidence will get mentioned in the appraiser's report.

DON'T try to change your home's style.

DO:

Incorporate a smooth and open layout. Anything that feels too cramped or doesn't make sense might need help from a good contractor before going on the market.

Think about potential. Does a basement have the capability of turning into a media room, or are the ceilings too low?

Fix negative features when possible. Small bathrooms, rooms that are accessed through other rooms, slanted second-floor ceilings and small kitchens can be a downside.

DON'T worry about changing features that are common for the home's age and area. Appraisers do take into account the way the home functions in the area and for its age.

Before your appraisal: 

DO make a list of recent improvements to your home. Think big and small here — this can range from renovating the kitchen to painting your deck. Make sure your appraiser has a list when comparing your home to others in the area.

DO talk to your appraiser before the inspection.  Discuss your house and its history. Find out the appraiser's history, number of years in business, and knowledge of the area.

DO ask your agent to do a walk-through with the appraiser.

DON'T stage it for the appraiser.  There's no need to do staging until you begin showing your home to buyers. Straightening up and doing light cleaning for the appraiser is fine, but not necessary.

After your appraisal: 

DO consider getting a second opinion.  Many lenders won't allow multiple appraisals for a loan, but if you're not getting an appraisal for lending purposes, it could be worthwhile to get more than one opinion of value if you feel like your home has been seriously undervalued.

Brought to you by the Luxury Valley Homes Team at 480-595-6412

Comment balloon 1 commentJane & Jeff Daley, PhD • July 08 2015 05:34PM
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