Home appraisals aren’t as black and white as they seem. In fact, there’s a very large gray area when it comes to determining the value of a home. Home appraisers are required to look at comparative recent sales in the area, but they can bump the value of your home up or down based on their personal impressions of the space. Here are four things you must do if you want to ensure that your value moves in the right direction.
Treat the Landscape
Curb appeal sets the first impression, and that makes a difference in how your entire home is viewed. An unkempt yard sends a message that you don’t take care of the property, and the inspector could start looking for flaws. However, neatly trimmed grass and a flowerbed that’s freshly weeded help set the right tone.
Handle the To-Do List
If you have a list of chores and little maintenance items to take care of, it’s time to check everything off that list. Items that are in poor condition and need repair drag down the value of your home. Fix that loose baseboard and replace the missing soffit vent before you call for the home inspection.
Check for Bugs
Even if you haven’t seen signs of termites, and clean bill of health from an agency like Ted the Terminator Inc or another pest company can help boost your appraisal. This also gives you an opportunity to find pest problems and have them corrected before a home appraiser picks up on the problem. Carpenter ants Vancouver are a common problem, so make sure that nests are eliminated. In addition to clearing out the tiny little invaders, you should also repair any damage they caused. This includes rotted wood on the deck and holes they bored in your wood siding.
Brag About the Changes
Brag may not be the best word, but you do want to point out the upgrades you’ve made to the home. These are what an appraiser will use to justify valuing your house at a higher amount. You don’t need to follow the inspector around. A list that they can take with them will prove more effective. Mention items like the new hardwood flooring, windows that were upgraded to bays, the built-in entertainment center that you lovingly installed. Newer appliances, roof and other recent upgrades should also make the list.
The most important thing you can do during the home inspection is treat the inspector in a warm but respectful manner, and give him or her a little space. You want to be available to answer questions without hovering. If you’ve done your homework ahead of time to let the inspector know that the house has been cared for and even upgraded, then you should be in good shape.