Preparing your home for an appraisal: Tips for maximising value 

By Ros Burton (Principal – The Real Estate People)

Deciding to have your home appraised can be an important step for homeowners. 

Whether it’s for refinancing, selling or for personal knowledge, understanding the appraisal process’s nuances can provide a competitive edge. 

This blog will guide you through the essential aspects of preparing your home to maximise its value during an appraisal. 

Understanding the Appraisal Process: What Appraisers Look For 

An appraisal process revolves around a detailed evaluation of a property to determine its market value. 

Appraisers consider various elements while reviewing a home including key factors like the property’s location, size, age and its comparative properties in the surrounding area. 

Understanding these criteria can help homeowners align their efforts to elevate their home’s perceived value. 

First Impressions Matter: Exterior Maintenance and Curb Appeal 

  • Ensure a well-maintained garden and lawn. Trim overgrown shrubs and mow the grass regularly. 
  • Clean the windows and doors; they should be free from dirt or grime. 
  • Check for any signs of wear or damage to the exterior walls and address them accordingly. 
  • Clear pathways and driveways. Ensure they are clean and free of obstructions. 
  • A fresh coat of paint or a simple touch-up can do wonders for enhancing the home’s overall look. 

Interior Essentials: Optimising Space and Presentation 

  • Decluttering: A clean, decluttered space not only looks appealing but also accentuates the room’s size. It’s advisable to remove unnecessary items and ensure a spacious environment. 
  • Cleanliness: A spic-and-span home showcases its features better. Appraisers, like anyone, would appreciate walking into a home that’s clean and smells fresh. 
  • Arrangement: How furniture and household items are arranged can influence the perception of space. It’s beneficial to arrange them in a manner that enhances room flow and demonstrates optimal use of space. 

Addressing Repairs: The Balance Between Cost and Value 

  • Repaint faded walls or patch up minor wall damage as this not only freshens up the space but also helps in highlighting the home’s well-maintained status. 
  • Fix leaky taps or pipes in bathrooms and kitchens. A small leak can give the impression of negligence, but timely repairs can elevate the overall condition of the home. 
  • Address any flooring issues, such as loose tiles or creaky floorboards. Ensuring floors are even and secure can play a significant role in improving the overall feel and safety of the home. 
  • Ensure all electrical fixtures are in working order. A well-lit room with functioning switches and outlets portrays the house as move-in ready. 
  • Always weigh the repair’s cost against the potential value it could add. Sometimes, minimal investments in repairs can provide substantial returns in appraisal value. 

Keeping Up with Market Trends: Renovations That Add Value 

  • In recent times, open-plan living spaces, modern kitchens with integrated appliances and outdoor entertainment areas are in demand. It’s essential to stay updated with what homebuyers are seeking so consider renovating spaces that align with these trends, as they can substantially uplift your home’s value. Remember, however, that every home is unique. What works for one might not work for another. Always take into consideration the style and age of your home. 

Documentation Preparedness: Essential Records and Receipts 

  • Maintain a record of any significant renovations or improvements made to the home, so keep receipts of repairs, as they demonstrate maintenance diligence. 
  • Document any extensions or structural changes made, with necessary approvals if applicable. 
  • If energy-saving installations or systems have been added, ensure they are documented as well. 

Reach Out to The Real Estate People 

Navigating the appraisal process might seem challenging but that’s where we, The Real Estate People, come in. 

Our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way – from understanding the process to implementing changes to increase your home’s value, we’ve got you covered. 

We’re familiar with the unique attributes and challenges of our local market, so whether you need advice on optimising space or making strategic renovations, we’re just a call away.