4 Things Seller Clients Should Do to Help Ensure a Positive Appraisal

After going through the time and effort of getting an accepted offer for your seller’s home, the absolute last thing you want (or need) is a problem with the appraisal that follows. Assuming a mortgage will be taken by the buyer, lenders will want to ensure that the price they pay compares favorably with similar homes recently sold in the area. Here are four things a seller can do to avoid an appraisal that puts the transaction in danger of falling through.

A fresh coat of paint

An easy and not-too-expensive step—paint. Interior walls are in view of everyone. If they’re sparkling clean and bright, they enhance rooms, especially since they will hopefully have been ‘decluttered’ by too many pictures or shelves. The trim should also be freshly painted to complement the walls. As for color, light is usually right.

Follow the “$500 rule”

There is a fairly common train of thought that homes appraise in increments of $500. So defects found will ‘cost’ $500 in a home’s appraised value. Thus, repairs or improvements that can be made for under $500 are likely worth taking on. Some are very minor, such as drain issue fixes, broken light-fixture replacements, etc.

Show home-improvement documentation

There’s a reason to keep receipts beyond having proof if something needs to be returned or fixed. If appliances were replaced, a bathroom upgraded or other improvement projects done during ownership, show the appraiser the documents, costs and dates of the upgrades. 

Do your own comparisons

If similar homes close to yours have been recently sold, find their sale prices and the listing, then compare their features to yours so you can build a case if you don’t agree with the appraiser of your property. Then ask the appraiser and mortgage lender, if necessary, to go over the differences in value among the houses you’ve included.

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