Tips to maximize your home appraisal

From houzz.com

Editor’s note: The following item is republished with permission of houzz.com. See the original article: The Do’s and Don’ts of Home Appraisal.

By Vanessa Brunner

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 we make (or don’t make) can make or break our home’s asking price.

What to do — and what not to do — before and after a home appraisal? We asked Houzz users and professional appraisers across the country for their tips.

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

Kitchen

Photo credit: Feinmann Inc.

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DON’T try to fix outdated cabinetry or countertops.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

traditional bathroom by Rikki Snyder

Photo credit: Rikki Snyder

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DON’T let your bathroom feel dark or have any outdated colors or materials.

BEFORE YOUR APPRAISAL

traditional exterior by Kenny Craft,  CNU  LEED AP

Photo credit: Kenny Craft, CNU LEED AP

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. "The key in getting a fair appraisal is to have an appraiser that is experienced and knowledgable in the local market, and that you’ve checked out," said Greg Wilkinson of Worth Every Dollar Appraisals in Atlanta.

DO ask your agent to do a walk-through with the appraiser. Houzz user Genevieve Llerena says this is the best decision she made. "She pointed out all of the work that I’d done and made sure the appraiser was familiar with all of the comparables in our area. She reminded him of how our location made a difference in the comparables."

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Copyright 2012 houzz.com

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