Quick! You’re having your house appraised! What can you do to maximize home values? If you are like most people, the only time you really “see” your home is when you have company coming over, and you are forced to look at your house through the eyes of others. Yikes – has that faucet been leaking long? Where did all those cobwebs come from?? Wow, my grout is filthy! What kinds of things matter, and will help squeeze every last dollar out of your home?
Why not ask some experts? You can call a local appraiser, who may be able to give some pointers on what you can do to get the most bangs for your housing buck. For a second opinion, call a local realtor. They are a wealth of information about what buyers are looking for in your area. You can also ask them for a CMA report. This stands for Current Market Analysis, and it compares your home to others in the area that are similar and then calculates a ballpark current value. Appraisers utilize information and make their calculations based on the past 3-12 months of what homes sold for, to get the current market value.
The first step is to De-clutter. Boxing up and removing excess belongings will enable you to see what kinds of cleaning or repairs will need to be done. Plus, the appraiser will have easier access to the perimeters of the rooms to do the measurements. Be sure the appraiser has access to crawl spaces and attics, garages and closets. Next – Clean up! Dust, vacuum, and scrub. Don’t forget the windows, and the grout in the tub and on the floor.
Are there any obvious minor repairs you can take care of yourself? Consider repainting the interior walls a neutral or light color. Does the bathroom need re-caulking? Faucets leaking? It’s the little things that could cause an appraiser to wonder if the home has been poorly maintained or neglected, which could mean a lower value. If there is a budget for it, there are two items that should get attention. Update counter-tops in the kitchen and bathrooms, and replace any dated vinyl flooring. These are things that can affect value.
If your home has a yard, mowing, trimming and sweeping will do wonders for your curb appeal. First impressions count. Take a look at your front door. Is the paint in good shape? Is it dusty and full of cobwebs? Be sure the light fixture on the porch is clean and in working order.
Once you have the house cleaned up and the yard looking good, what else can you do? Gather up the records and make a list (or Brag Sheet) of any improvements you’ve made on the home and the costs. Things like windows, HVAC work, roofing, kitchen or bath remodels, electrical or plumbing work. These are items that can be significant when calculating a home’s value. Also type up a basic fact sheet about your home, including the legal address, number of beds and baths, year built, and square footage. Here’s your chance to gossip! Let your appraiser know why houses in your area sold for what they did. Maybe your neighbor had to sell his house for a reduced price because he got an out of town job transfer and needed to sell quickly. One bad apple CAN spoil the whole bunch!
Call or email us today for a CMA report. We are happy to discuss the trends and bring you up to speed on what’s happening in your neighborhood with home sales and home values – especially yours!