7 Step Appraisal Process for Your Home’s Highest Value
First impressions are everything. You want your house to shine like a model home. Since an appraisal of your San Diego home has both objective and subjective components, the showcase is vital to the subjectivity of the appraisal.
Why should you make your home shine like a model? When you walk into a model home, it feels new, well-cared for and you can visualize living in the home with your own possessions. There is immediately a perceived value to the home.
When you walk into a well-lived home with personal collections displayed, family photos, blankets on couches, counters covered with appliances and personal items, it can be difficult to see beyond the clutter. The home could be well-cared for, but not easily seen. The perceived value of the home is diminished. These are some of the subjective components that will influence the value of your home.
Objective components of the appraisal include reviewing comparable properties that have sold in your area. Some things an appraiser will consider are age of property, square footage, attached or detached garage, number of bathrooms, lot size and over all condition of property compared to yours.
Since the goal of an appraisal is to get the highest appraised value for purposes of either selling or refinancing, it is vital that you take the necessary steps to preparing your home.
Seven-Step Appraisal Process for Your Home’s Highest Value
Step 1: Take Inventory of What Needs to be Completed
Walk through each room in your house and write down everything that needs to be removed. Then take note of any repairs that may need to be made or walls that need to be painted.
Step 2: Curb Appeal is Crucial
How does the front yard look? Are there weeds? Has your yard become a collection of mismatched furniture and gardening tools? Are there cobwebs in the eaves? Is it June and your Christmas lights are still hanging? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is time to get to work. Cut the grass, remove the weeds, add blooming flowers to flowerbeds. No flower beds? Buy two nice planters with blooming flowers to put by the front door. Power wash the siding and walkways. Remove the cobwebs. Wash the windows. If it does not look right, change or remove it.
Step 3: Remove the Clutter
Do you have a bookshelf packed with books and trinkets? Lighten the load and showcase a few items on a shelf. Can you see the counters in your kitchen? Remove everything from the counters. Remove magnets and notes from the refrigerator. Tidy up the bulletin board or remove completely. Is the room easy to walk through? Removing large pieces of furniture will make a room look more spacious. Have a favorite chair that needs repair? Move it temporarily to the garage. Pack items in boxes and neatly store in the garage.
Step 4: Fix and Repair
Any holes in the walls? How does the paint on the walls and trim look? Broken faceplates or hanging wires? Patch and repair any holes in the wall. Best practice is to repaint the entire wall so the paint matches and the wall looks fresh. Touch up painting is better suited for scuffed up trim. Replace broken faceplates and straighten wires that cannot be removed.
Step 5: Backyard Overhaul
Is your patio furniture tattered and torn? How about that umbrella? Are weeds peeking through the cracks in the patio? Remove any item that does not show well. A few non-toxic ways to remove weeds is to use boiling water, white vinegar or make a mixture of salt with white vinegar (1 cup salt to 1 gallon vinegar) and then spray weeds. You can also add a little liquid soap and citrus or clove oil.
For more environmental friendly ideas check out Derek Markham’s article on Treehugger.
Step 6: The Finish
Now that your home has been repaired and decluttered, it is time for a deep cleaning. Once clean, review each area again and tidy up any areas you may have missed.
Step 7: Appraisal Day
The day before the appraisal, either add fresh flowers or a bowl of lemons to the kitchen table. Put away tissue boxes and remotes. Remove toiletries from the shower and bathroom counters. Put away bathroom throw rugs. Open shower curtain if shower tile is in good condition and looks current. Keep the shower curtain closed if the tub enclosure could use a little TLC. Smells can be subjective, so it is best to remove air fresheners and if weather permits, open windows to air out the home. Empty garbage cans. Make beds and fluff pillows. Turn on lights. Provide appraiser a list of any recent upgrades to the house such as adding sub-panel to an older home, bathroom remodel, new flooring, new heating and air conditioning system, or new windows.
I know this seems like a lot of work for a thirty-minute walk through. However, these simple and cost effective suggestions will provide value to your appraisal. Remember that the goal is to get highest possible value for your home.
Have questions or need help with selling your San Diego home? Contact our team at The Roby Company!