A home appraisal is a necessary part of buying and selling a home. For buyers and their lenders, it provides insight into how much the home is worth compared to how much they are purchasing it for. For sellers, it is an important step to finding how much they can sell their home for. Since sellers want to make the most money possible from the sale, they want to make the house look as good as possible for the appraiser. It all comes down to one idea: the better the home looks and the more usable the space is, the more it will be worth.
Here are 7 things you can do before a home appraisal that will help raise the value of your home. If possible, make these fixes and updates prior to the inspection to make your house worth as much as possible.
Raise the curb appeal
This was the focus of our most recent blog. The better your home looks form the outside, the easier it is to judge a book by its proverbial cover. As a seller, your goal should be: The landscaping should look like a golf course; and the exterior of the home should look like it belongs on the cover of a magazine; and the driveway and sidewalk should look brand new. The blog goes into more detail, but it boils down to everything being clean, orderly, and well kept.
Spruce up the interior
First and foremost, deep clean your entire home. This includes floors, bathrooms, dusting, and around doorknobs (this is a big one). After that declutter closets, drawers, and cabinets. Take some things out to give the illusion of having extra storage space. Next, open up all of the windows and look at how much natural light enters each room. Adding long, lighter curtains will brighten the room and give the illusion of more vertical space. Also, a lighter paint color will add brightness to the room automatically.
Update bathrooms or kitchens
It is often said that the kitchen sells the home. As such, an updated kitchen makes a large impact on buyer interest. While big ticket items like new appliances, a new sink, new countertops or new floors are appealing, they are expensive they often fully recoup the cost in the sale. However, if these big ticket items need to be fixed, make the necessary repairs or be prepared to offer a discount at the negotiating table. Simple fixes like lighting, a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets, new hinges and drawer pulls, and updated sink hardware make a great impression for buyers and appraisers alike. These are cheap and can be done by in a short time.
Brighten up bedrooms and laundry rooms
Laundry rooms can get cramped and dark in a hurry. Open the space by adding floating shelves for detergent, hanging a mirror, and add better lighting fixtures. The laundry room is another place where a brighter coat of paint can really make the space pop. If your washer and dryer are in need of service, make those repairs or replace them.
There are a variety of ways to make bedrooms more appealing. The biggest way is to open up the space. Cramped rooms are a turn-off for appraisers and buyers alike. Here are some proven ways to clear up space while playing up coziness.
- Floor to ceiling curtains with a light-color material make the room appear taller.
- Closet and under-bed organizers maximize storage space.
- Neutral paint colors help distribute light and add a sense of warmth.
- Adding a long mirror in the corner helps distribute light and add depth.
Make the basement usable (if you have one)
Most homes built in the Boise area in the last 30-40 years do not have basements. If you are lucky enough to have one, it is a major selling point. If the basement is furnished as a usable space instead of a glorified storage unit, it adds to the appeal of the house. If it not furnished, make sure to deep clean and organize the space in a way that declutters the area. Consider adding new and better lighting to brighten it up. Adding drywall or ceiling panels to cover studs and wiring can revolutionize the space.
If you don’t have a basement, Check your crawlspace to make sure there are no leaks or foundation issues. The appraiser will look here as well.
Fix appliances and home systems
We’ve mentioned this a couple times in this article, but it also deserves its own section. The home appraiser will inspect the major appliances and systems in your home to make sure they are in good working order. HVAC, sprinklers, refrigerator, washer and dryer, and plumbing are all items for the appraiser to check. If the appraiser makes a note that these should be serviced or replaced, make them happen. Most all buyers are willing to pay a little extra for new appliances.
If possible, pre-emptively handle any deferred maintenance before the appraiser comes. This will help your home start out looking better rather than trying to make up for lost ground after the fact.
More outdoor living space
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor space has become just as important—if not more important—than indoor space. Especially as the weather starts warming up, people will be looking for ways to spend time in the fresh Idaho air. Patios and decks are big selling points for appraisers and buyers because they make the outdoor space look more usable. Highlight that with clean or new patio furniture. Clean the BBQ grill and get rid of the hammock that has been chewed up by squirrels. Just like with the front yard, the exterior of the house is as important as the interior. Pay attention to sprucing up the lawn as well as garden and flower bed spaces in the same ways as the front yard.
If you think you are ready to sell your home in 2021, give our expert team of Boise real estate agents a call at (208) 724-9636 to get started. Our high standards of client care and the amazing value we bring will help you sell your home quickly for top dollar.