Property appraisals are tricky says Dave Watkins of DJW Properties – there are many factors that can influence the outcome.
Location, physical condition and a whole range of external issues come into play when appraisers make a property valuation.
Check out these ten smart tips to get the best property appraisal results.
1. Deep Clean
Preparation for any property appraisal should begin with a deep clean – inside and out.
A pristine home is typically regarded as a well-maintained home.
Before you start fixing and replacing things, don’t underestimate the value of cleaning – starting with the windows.
This simple task is often overlooked but it makes a huge difference to the property’s overall appearance.
2. Make Minor Cosmetic Repairs & Updates
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what appraisers do.
The cosmetic appearance of your home registers on a subliminal level, and those first impressions are lasting.
To boost the appeal of your property in a short time with a small budget, worry more about how it ‘looks’ than how it ‘works’.
Make those minor cosmetic repairs and updates that you’ve been putting off: buy a new doormat; upgrade the light shades; install shiny new doorknobs or faucets; and hang new curtains.
3. Install or Update Safety Equipment
Up-to-date safety and security add value to any property.
Before the appraisal, install, test or repair the safety equipment onsite, including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and home security alarms.
4. Give Yard a Makeover
A yard that’s overrun with unkempt trees and bushes can devalue the property.
With some well-placed shrubs, a freshly swept driveway and a nice lawn framing the house, first impressions will be positive.
Don’t get carried away with elaborate landscaping – keep it neat and simple.
If you’re not a green thumb, hire a landscape gardener to install some new turf, plant some hardy shrubs and spruce up the yard.
5. Boost Curb Appeal
Before the appraiser steps foot inside the home, they will judge it by its curb appeal.
Make sure that the property entrance is spick and span.
Clear away any unattractive clutter, power wash the decks, driveways and footpaths, and spruce up the exterior of the property.
A clean, tidy home looks newer and more inviting to appraisers.
6. Fresh Paint
A fresh coat of paint can change the way people view your house.
New paint, particularly well-chosen and contemporary shades, will transform a property.
If you can’t paint the property yourself, call in the professionals.
Painting is one of the more affordable trades.
This small investment can make a big difference to your appraisal.
7. Document All Recent Improvements
Keep tabs on the expense of all repairs and renovations that you do.
Save all receipts and invoices in a systematic way, together with before-and-after photographs of all home improvements and upgrades, so that you can readily prove the value and quality of the work to appraisers.
If permits were pulled for your home improvement projects, keep them on file too.
8. Know the Market
Geographical location has a major bearing on property values so do some research about your location.
Get familiar with the prices of comparable nearby properties.
Make sure you know all of the virtues of your area.
What are the transport options?
Where’s the nearest school?
Is there employment opportunity nearby?
Does the area have any cultural amenities?
9. Look To the Future
The appraisal should not be based solely on the current face value of your location.
Do your research to find out what the neighbourhood will look like in five or ten years time.
New infrastructure projects drive property prices so most planned infrastructure upgrades usually indicate that the area will be a good investment.
10. Be Diplomatic
It’s important for you to have a good sense of self worth and make sure that the appraiser is informed of any ‘hidden values’ that the property might have.
But be mindful not to be too pushy.
Be assertive and share your insights with the appraiser, but treat them with respect at all times.
These are just ten considerations that can affect the outcome of a property appraisal.
Do you have a property appraisal success or disaster story to tell?
Share your insights in the comments section below.
Dave is the Managing Director and Founder of the DJW Property, an award winning real estate agency, achieving great success as the market leaders in the exclusive suburb of real estate in Sylvania Waters.
Dave with his in-depth knowledge continually strives to achieve the perfect property transaction for his clients.
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