Whenever a buyer finances their purchase with a mortgage loan, the lender requires a home appraisal. If the property’s appraised value falls below the agreed-upon price, your sale may fall through. So, as the seller, you want to make sure your property is in tip-top shape before the appraiser comes through. Once you get into the escrow phase of the sale, you need to go through your home once again to ensure it looks great for the appraiser. That includes cleaning it until everything sparkles.
Home Appraisal: Does Extra Clean Add Extra Value?
Bottom line? No, cleanliness technically does not affect your appraised value. However, a spotless home creates a mindset with the appraiser similar to the one it creates with a buyer. Starting off with a positive impression never hurts. Plus, it makes the appraiser (even subconsciously) think that the homeowner kept up with the property’s maintenance.
Put in the Elbow Grease
Always, always, always clean both the interior and exterior of your property before a home appraisal. That means cleaning windows, deep cleaning carpet, mopping floors, scrubbing countertops, etc. Clear the clutter. Put away toys and clothes. Make the beds. Take out the trash. Touch up paint where needed. You make an appraiser’s job easier by allowing clear access to all areas of your home. By making their job easier, it puts them in a better frame of mind. While this should not affect your home’s value, we do tend to see higher numbers for cleaner homes.
List Your Updates/Upgrades
During a home appraisal, the homeowner and/or their representative are allowed to be present. But hovering over the appraiser may agitate them. You do not want that to happen. However, you can make it easier for the appraiser by providing a list of all updates/upgrades you performed on your property, especially those that are not easily seen. That includes upgrades/repairs to the plumbing, roof, irrigation, or HVAC system.
The Way to an Appraiser’s Heart…
…is through their stomach? Well, not really. Nevertheless, providing a nice snack and beverage can only help. When they grab for a cookie and a cold bottle of water, make sure to provide them with a list of comps in the neighborhood. Yes. Running comps is part of the appraisal process. Yet, some recent comps may not show up. Your REALTOR® can make sure to print off the most up-to-date list just before the scheduled home appraisal so that it is handy. Again, this makes the appraiser’s job a little easier.
Scott Gleason, CRS at Coldwell Banker Realty – East, NJ Luxury Homes