Wouldn’t it be so much easier if there was a blog filled with all of the things appraisers want sellers to know? Oh, we just wrote one? Guess you’re in luck!
That’s right, we’re unveiling all the mysteries! (Well . . . maybe not all of them, then you wouldn’t need us if you knew everything.) First up, let’s talk about home improvements.
There are a LOT of good reasons to do home improvements, but there are some common misconceptions about what they mean for your home’s appraised value.
It’s good to know that what you spend on home improvements usually does NOT mean a dollar-for-dollar increase in your home’s appraised value. Say what? Here’s an example:
If you spend $50,000 on a kitchen improvement, it may only bring $25,000 in appraised value. There are many variables to consider like:
- Your neighborhood
- Your particular home
- The overall market
Sometimes cosmetic improvements to your home will bring a great return; things like paint, floor coverings, updating (rather than remodeling) kitchen and baths. Something as simple as updating cabinet hardware, or fixtures, can bring a nice return for investment.
If you’re curious if a particular home improvement is worth doing to your home in your neighborhood, it’s always a good idea to chat with a local real estate agent.
Either way, it’s important to remember when you’re going into an appraisal that home improvements may not add value exactly the way you assume they will. Let’s move on to prepping the space.
Prepping Your Space
Here are some ways that you can prep your home for an upcoming appraisal:
- Decluttering the yard
- Cleaning up inside
- Make sure your appraiser can move around easily
While your appraiser isn’t going to judge your home’s cleanliness, you should want to show your home off in the best possible light during its appraisal. Consider this like a test run for all of your prospective buyers. Don’t forget the outside! Curb appeal can be really important.
Making sure your home looks spic and span can ONLY help you during the appraisal, and it makes the appraiser’s job a little nicer, too. Now for the fun part. . .
Appraisers want to see all of the information you have about your home, so gather all of that up to give to them before they even start the appraisal process.
Here are some things you should have on hand:
- Building permit info for home improvements
- List of major improvements to the home
- Info about the age of the roof and major systems in the home
This information helps appraisers know exactly how to best value your home, so the more you tell them, the better. It means less digging later. If you want the process to be as seamless as possible, this is a great way to keep the ball rolling. Let’s keep moving and take a look at what appraisers *actually* do!
What an Appraiser Actually Does
There are a lot of misconceptions out there for what an appraiser does. It’s pretty important to understanding the appraisal process in general, but we hope this list will help you!
- Create a report based on a visual inspection
- Determines an unbiased, professional opinion of the value of the home, independent of the banker, buyer, and seller
- Work under a set of rules and regulations designed to protect all parties
- Do a complete inspection of things that may be wrong with the home (that’s a home inspection)
- Make up arbitrary values
Understanding exactly what an appraiser’s job is sometimes makes it easier to understand why they do what they do during the appraisal process.
Appraisers Aren’t Magicians
We have to tell you a secret. . . Appraisers don’t magically know what the value of a home is. They aren’t clairvoyant, no matter how good they are! Now you know our biggest secret.
A lot of work goes into a home appraisal, and the bulk of it happens AFTER a home visit. Appraisers take measurements, take pictures, draw sketches, and look at public records on the home. They also look at the surrounding neighborhood and recent comps to determine value.
This takes a lot of time and expertise to get just right, and it’s important to remember just how much effort goes into every single home appraisal. The next time you are waiting on a home appraisal, just remember that we are doing our absolute best job to get you the best result.
We hope that you have a better idea of the things appraisers want sellers to know after reading this blog post. Have questions? We’d love to hear from you!
Here at Kairos Appraisal, we have a huge team of appraisers who will give your home the attention it deserves. If you’re ready to experience the Kairos difference, please reach out to us here or give us a call at 425-967-3794.