Iowa Land and Home

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How to Prepare for Your Appraisal

Tidy Up Your House

Remember that the little things can make all the difference. A deep clean under the stove and refrigerator may not be necessary, but doing the little things like keeping the blinds dusted, scuffs off the floor, and the windows clean and clear can help add to the overall condition rating of your home.

Focus on the Outside, as well as the Inside

Curb appeal matters. By keeping the yard mowed, the weeds cut, and the bushes trimmed you can easily add to the value rating of your home. The outside appearance of your home is the first impression your appraiser has to judge the overall condition rating of your home. Starting off on the right foot can make all the difference in the world.

When Updating Your Home, Focus on Fixes that Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

The best updates for most markets are paint, carpet, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. Focusing on small, inexpensive upgrades all over your home can have a better overall affect to your home's appraisal value than one large expense. Also, focusing on common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms can increase your overall appraisal rating.

Keep a List of all the Updates You've Done

Keep a list handy that you can hand over to the appraiser of all the improvements you've made. Especially, remember the items that an appraiser might not notice, such as a new roof or insulation. Make sure to also list minor items that you've updated. These minor items can add to your overall appraisal.

Inform Your Appraiser about Possible Comparison Properties

This is especially important if a home near you was under sold for any reason, or sold by the owner personally. For example, if your neighbour moved and did a for sale by owner, that property may not be official record yet, and therefore not known to your appraiser. Having a list of these properties can help you ensure the appraiser takes all current sales into your appraisal rating.

Keep Other Important Documents Handy

Having important documents handy can help facilitate the appraisal process. Documents such as a survey of the house and land, information about purchases you've made for the property in the last three to five years, and written agreements with neighbours and the township can help speed up your appraisal process.

Try to Keep Your Pets Out of the Way

Having pets around can distract your appraiser from their task at hand. Keep your pets tucked safely out of the way so your appraiser can complete the appraisal properly, and so you can be sure you are getting the appraisers full attention.

Try to Keep All Areas of the Property Accessible

Keeping all areas of your home accessible to the appraiser can help give an inviting feel. This is especially true for the attic and the basement so your appraiser can get into those tough crawl spaces to see insulation levels and the status of your home's foundation.