A home appraisal is one of the most crucial aspects of the home sale process. It determines what the lenders are willing to loan for the home and sets the maximum for what you will receive for your home. Thankfully, there are simple steps that you can take to increase the appraised value of your home. These simple and easy methods won’t take much time and effort but the result can drastically improve your home’s value during a home appraisal in Maryland.
Understanding What Appraisers Look For
To be able to know how to prepare for a home appraisal in Maryland, you must first understand what appraisers are looking for. Appraisers are supposed to not only look over the condition of the home but also at the local market and what comparable homes in your area have sold for in the past 6 months. Their unbiased opinion places your home in one of several “C” categories. Before we get into how to improve your chances of getting a higher appraised value of your home you must first understand which level your home fits in.
C-1: A never occupied, brand-new home
C-2: Home that has undergone major renovations, major components replaced after the home was gutted
C-3: No signs of neglect, suitable condition. 95% of homes fall in this category.
C-4: Less than livable home with signs of disrepair
C-5: Unfit for occupation on day one, major disrepair, disconnected utilities and/or pests
The amount that your appraiser says your home is worth sets the limit for what your lender will be willing to loan you. To get the most out of your home appraisal in Maryland, be sure to follow the following 8 steps to improve the value of your home before the appraisal takes place.
How to Improve Your Homes Value
- Do Not Get Your Own Appraisal, Let Your Agent Give You An Assessment
Getting your own appraisal will help you in identifying areas of potential improvement. However, this is not recommended. The only appraisal that really matters is the official one that was ordered by the buyer’s lender. You’re better off relying on your agent to give an assessment and save on the cost of an extra appraisal.
- Tidy Up the Exterior & Yard
Cut the grass, trim the bushes and remove debris from your yard. The exterior of the home is the first impression that the appraiser will have on your home. To have a positive effect, make sure that the exterior of your home is tidy and clean.
- Research Local Comparable Homes That Have Recently Sold
The best way to gain an initial idea of what your home is worth is by looking at the public records of recently sold, comparable homes in your area over the past 6 months. If you have hired a real estate agent, they may be able to provide a comparative market analysis that contains all of this information.
- Make Small Repairs and Clean the Home
If you have been putting off making small repairs on your home now is the time to do it. Something that may only take a few dollars to fix can make a significant difference in your home’s appraisal. You will also want to perform a deep clean on the interior of your home as it will have a positive impact on the appraisers’ opinion of your home.
- Stage The Home How You Would For a Showing
When a real estate agent prepares a home for a showing, they make the effort to stage the home and make it look as valuable and desirable as possible. This should be mimicked when your preparing for a home appraisal as it will have the same effect.
- Make it Easy for the Appraiser to do their Job
Allow the appraiser to do their job by staying out of their way. They know how to do their appraisal and they do not need you hanging over their shoulder during the entire process. Make their job easier by opening up any locked doors or entryways.
- Provide a List of Significant Upgrades
In addition to making their job easier by providing easy access and staying out of their way, you will also want to include a list of significant upgrades that have been done to your home. Include things like major home renovations, integral system upgrades, and any other significant work that will work to improve the appraised value of your home.
- Show the Appraiser If You Have Multiple Offers
If you have any offers on your home by the time your lender sends an appraiser, it’s important to make them aware. If you received an offer that was higher than what the appraiser values your home at, they may potentially reconsider your home’s worth.
Making an Appeal on Your Maryland Home Appraisal
If you disagree with your home’s appraised value, you may want to consider making an appeal. There are several routes to appealing an appraisal and which one you decide on depends on your situation. If you notice or are inclined to believe that there are errors in the appraisal, you should appeal for an appraisal revision. If there are not any mistakes, the appraisal will stand. If you know the amount that the buyer is putting as a down payment, you can negotiate a new price to cover the appraisal gap, given that there is one. Next, if you are trying to expedite the process and sell the home quicker, you can lower the price. Finally, if all else fails and you are not pleased with the appraisal, you can back out altogether and re-list the home. The next appraiser may give you a better or worst price, so it’s a bit of a gamble.
Take Control of Your Home Sale with Mortgage Professionals
Buying or selling a home can be a daunting process, especially if you do not have any experience doing so. Instead of going in blind, Federal Hill Mortgage is here to help. Our team of experienced mortgage experts will guide you through every step of the way, offering transparent guidance in order to help you proficiently secure a new home or sell the one you already own. Give us a call or visit our website to get in touch with us and get started on benefiting your mortgage or home sale with Federal Hill Mortgage today!