Historically low loan rates have caused thousands of homeowners to refinance mortgages in an effort to lower payments. A typical part of the refinance process is having your home appraised. An appraisal simply consists of a professional walking through your home to evaluate the condition of your home and its total market value.

Appraisers make several evaluations when determining the value of your home, including a comparison of your home and prices on neighboring houses. In addition, when determining an appraised amount a professional appraiser will look at the home’s general condition, as well as any improvements that increase the value. When having your home appraised, use the following tips to maximize the appraised value of your home.

Clean the House: Make your house sparkle and shine. Cleaning your home adds aesthetic appeal and is the one area where you have ultimate control. Rid your home of clutter. Look over carpets and steam clean them if necessary. Look outside and clean up the lawn.

  • Spruce Up the Yard: Weed flowerbeds, remove debris, and get rid of lawn ornamentation. Anything that is unappealing to the eye or makes the yard appear cluttered should go.
  • Documentation of Improvements: The appraiser should be aware of any documented improvements to your home. This does not mean that you should stand at the door and follow the appraiser around and point out improvements. It simply means that you should keep a written record of any and all updates. Place the list in a visible place where the appraiser can take note.
  • Clarify Room Use: Prior to your appraisal, make the purpose of the room obvious. Do not have a desk and disassembled baby crib in the same room or toys scattered inside of a home office.
  • Make Repairs: Look around your home and make a list of needed repairs. Any unrepaired issues can subtract value from your home. Anything from a leaky faucet to a garage door that is not working should be properly repaired.
  • Get Rid of Mold and Mildew: Be especially conscience of eliminating mold and mildew in your home.

Remember not to panic before the appraisal. Make a thorough list of the items that need to be complete prior to the appraisal process. Do not complete necessary tasks the night before the appraisal but allow more than enough time to complete repairs and clean. Your home should appear as though it is well cared for and maintained.

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