Helpful Home Selling Tip ~ Carolyn Smith, Melbourne Beach Realtor

Posted on: October 18, 2011

I saw an article about home appraisals on the Wall Street Journal’s blog and I thought it might be helpful to some of my readers who have their home listed for sale, or are thinking about refinancing. I am always getting questions about appraisals and what can be done to improve them, so here are ten tips for high value home appraisals, courtesy of the WSJ:

1. Make sure your home is looking its best. Seems obvious, but it is important to make sure your landscaping is cleaned up and your property is free of “junk”, stains on carpets are taken care of, marks on walls have been painted over… those sorts of things. You don’t have to go crazy, but if there are visible “messes”, it is best to take care of them before the appraiser arrives.

2. Check your curb appeal. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, pull the weeds – you don’t want your home looking like the foreclosure down the street. You want your home to generally look in good condition.

3.  Keep track and make a list of the updates you have done. You can make this list even more specific by noting the date and cost of the updates. Be sure to include items the appraiser might not notice, like a new roof or even just a new sink in the bathroom. You can also make a list of notable features of the property.

4. Have a list of comps on hand. This is especially true if you know of a comparable property that was “for sale by owner”, or wasn’t posted on the MLS for some reason. Every little bit of information helps!

5. Fix that peeling paint. FHA and veteran’s loans (government-insured loans) will require peeling paint to be removed in houses built before 1978.

6. Spend where it counts. Don’t spend if it won’t yield a return on your investment. Some good places to put your money are new paint, carpet, light and plumbing fixtures. If your home is in good working condition, and your have replaced/fixed things as they have broken, you are probably fine.

7. Location is important. Let the appraiser know if there have been any major changes to the neighborhood, such as a new high-end shopping mall, or a new park down the street. Or if your neighborhood has recently been named a historic district, let the appraiser know about it.

8. $500 increments. Oftentimes, appraisers value homes in $500 increments, so if there is something that is over $500 to repair or replace, it will count against the property. Be sure to fix those leaky faucets, cracked windows, missing hand rails, and structural damage.

9. Effective age. This is the age the appraiser can assign to a home after taking a look at updates that have been done, and the general condition of the home. If your home appears to have many cosmetic problems, but is still habitable, it could be given an overall average condition rating, but the effective age will be higher, resulting in comps being used with the same effective age, which will give your home a lower value.

10. Give them space! Don’t follow the appraiser around pointing out every single detail of your home, and also, don’t let Rover get in the way of the appraisal either. Distractions may make the appraiser miss something. Save questions until after.

The bottom line is, keep your home looking as clean, updated, and cared for as possible.

Source of info: Ten Tips for High Value Home Appraisals by S. Mitra Kalita

Whether you are buying or selling, it would be my pleasure to represent you! 

Please call or email me today to review your real estate needs!

Contact me, Carolyn Smith at:

Phone: 321.271.0870


1 Response to "Helpful Home Selling Tip ~ Carolyn Smith, Melbourne Beach Realtor"

Super post! Just like your blog professionalism! Keep up the good work.

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Your Coastal Estate Team: Carolyn Smith, Realtor & Bridget Sentz, Realtor

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RE/MAX Olympic Realty
445 Fifth Avenue
Indialantic, FL 32903

Direct: 321.271.0870
Fax: 321.574.3044


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445 Fifth Avenue
Indialantic, FL 32903

Cell: 321.537.5720
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