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June
6

The appraisal is a sometimes overlooked aspect of your home sale. Here's how you can prepare for it.

The appraisal is technically not the seller's responsibility, so you may not be thinking about it at all as you get your house ready to sell. Typically the buyer has to schedule and pay for the appraisal as part of the loan requirements, so sellers tend not to consider whether they should prepare for it. To ensure your sale goes through, however, our real estate agents recommend that as a seller, you prepare for the appraisal as best as you can.

Fortunately, many of these things coincide with what you already should be doing to get your house ready to sell. Here are a few ways to make sure your home's appraisal is an accurate reflection of the house's market value.

  • Update outdated features.
    You probably already know that a house with a lot of outdated colors, materials, and lighting can take a major hit in market price, but it'll also affect the appraisal. Even if you can't afford to renovate, doing small, affordable updates is in your best interests, both to maximize the amount you get for your home, and to ensure the sale goes through without a hitch. Look at your flooring, cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, and even your landscaping with a critical eye and determine where your money will be best spent, as well as how you can make the most of your budget.

  • Catch up on repairs.
    Similar to updating, making sure all your deferred maintenance is caught up will help you both in market price and when it comes time for an appraisal. A house needing a lot of work to make it livable for the new owner will sell for less than its move in-ready competitors, so it's in your best interests to go around and take care of all those repairs you've been putting off until now. Fix leaky faucets, clear slow drains, replace light bulbs, make sure all your doors latch and lock and your windows all operate smoothly, and just in general do any repair that has been needing to be done.

  • Spruce it up.
    Even with things that don't need outright updating, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and light fixtures, look around your house with an attitude of "how can I make this look better?" For instance, a new coat of paint on the walls will give the interior a brighter and modern look, and hide the signs of other owners over the years. Even small updates, such as new cabinet hardware, new doorknobs, or new curtains, can add a lot to the overall look of the place. Clean up your yard and add planters to boost your curb appeal, too. South Bend homes for sale appraise better when they impress the appraiser right from the start.

  • Clean it all... again.
    This is something you'll probably do over and over: before you list your home, in between showings to keep it looking fresh, and again before the inspection and appraisal. Cleaning may not actually add value to your home, but it'll give the impression of a more valuable home by making it look well-maintained. More importantly, you'll avoid detracting from your home's value, which can happen if the house looks dirty and run-down when the appraiser sees it.

Getting the appraisal may be the buyer's responsibility, but for a smooth sale, you as a seller still need to do your due diligence to ensure the house appraises well. For more tips about selling your home or to get started with an agent, contact us today.

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