The home appraisal process can be daunting when you’re selling your home for the first time. What will the appraiser be looking for? What are the steps involved? Is there anything owners can do to improve the value of the property?
Obtaining an appraisal (and preparing for one) is an essential part of selling your home. We’ve broken down the steps involved to help you understand what goes down.
How do I get a home appraisal?
The goal of an appraisal is to set an objective estimate of a what a property’s value. This is slightly different to a valuation. You can request a free online property report in 30 seconds, which gives you access to a variety of data on local recent and historic home sales nearby. While this doesn’t closely examine your property like an appraisal does, it can give you a rough idea of what your home might be worth.
If you’re planning to sell your house, you’ll probably only need an appraisal.
Since establishing a market value for your property can be done by any real estate professional, it’s important to approach a number of estate agents and get a range of opinions about the value of your home. Use it as an opportunity to find an agent that you trust and who is working in your best interest. It’s important to ask plenty of questions when you meet with them, so you can get to know who they are and how they work.
What are agents looking for when conducting a property appraisal?
A good real estate agent with have knowledge about your local area and have access to resources to help them suggest a price. From the moment they walk in, they will be calculating the potential value of your property based on a variety of factors.
So what are agents looking for during the home visit process? In general, they will consider:
- The property’s exterior – When conducting a market appraisal, real estate agents will check for visual elements like the garden, the state of repair (any visible cracks, etc.), the quality of the painting and style of the property.
- The property’s interior – Your agent will look at the number and size of the rooms, any improvements or renovations, the quality of the appliances and layout. This will help them compare your property to others in your area.
- Land size – The size of the land is particularly important if your agent plans to market your property as a ‘fixer upper’ or a knock-down – big land size will attract people who want to build their own brand new home or undertake major renovations.
- Value add-ons – Depending on your market, your agent will note down different attractive elements of your home, such as a swimming pool, air conditioning, built-in wardrobes, a double garage or top-end appliances.
How to prepare your home
Before your agent visits your home, it’s a good idea to take a tour of your house and see it with a fresh pair of eyes to ensure that you’re showing off your property in its best light. Look for little things like:
- Malfunctioning door knobs
- Leaking pipes
- Water damage and mould
- Broken windows
- General untidiness and clutter
A little fixing here and there can go a long way to get a house appraisal that reflects the value of your home.
Does a messy home impact real estate property value?
Although real estate professionals are trained to look past clutter and mess, if they don’t have good visibility due to mess on the floor or untidy stacks of items on the surfaces or next to walls, it will be tricky to get an accurate estimate during the appraisal process.
Having a clean home on the day of the appraisal will help give your agent the best view of your home and its features – and it’ll also help you prepare for prospective buyers. It’s a good idea to do a thorough clean before the appraisal, as well as take extra steps like shampooing the carpet, polishing the floorboards and washing the walls.
With your home interiors looking fresh, have a look outside your house at the yard and outdoor entertainment areas. Tidying up these areas can have a big impact on your home’s presentation. Houses with plenty of curb appeal often receive higher value estimates, so it’s worth your time to go the extra mile.
After the appraisal
If you’ve gathered several opinions, it’s time to weigh up the different appraisals you’ve received. Remember that this isn’t binding, but is used as a guide to help you work out what your property is worth, and also to help you choose an agent to sell your home.
- How to prepare for your property appraisal
- What's the difference between an appraisal and a valuation?
- 10 questions to ask a real estate agent
To get a free property appraisal from an experienced real estate agent, get in touch with us today for a no-strings, genuine opinion on the potential value of your property.