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Your home's appraisal is important if you're planning to sell. Here's what you should do.

Your home's appraisal is a big deal since what it appraises for can make or break the sale. It may seem like there's not a lot you can do aside from pricing your home fairly, but there may be more than you think. Here are a few suggestions from our real estate agents on how you can prepare your home for a successful appraisal.

  • Walk through the house with a critical eye.
    When you know you have an appraisal coming up, take the time to walk through your house with a critical eye. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the appraiser and a stranger. What stands out to you? Do you see damage that needs to be repaired or evidence of a to-do list you've been putting off? Test every faucet, every drain, and every light switch. Make sure that everything works.

  • Finish any pending repairs.
    You may have already done all the repairs before listing the home, but use your walk-through to make sure there isn't anything else left to do. If there are any repairs still lingering on the to-do list, or if you see anything needing attention during your walk-through, be sure to finish these repairs before the appraisers come through. Any issues tend to ding the value in increments of $500, so unfinished repairs can add up fast to a major reduction in value.

  • Do any necessary sprucing-up.
    Even if you don't find repairs that need to be done, that doesn't mean you can't put a little work into sprucing up. Remember, a house that presents a good first impression can be appraised more favorably. Even a bunch of little things like fresh interior paint, new hardware, and updated light fixtures can make the home look more modern and inviting, which will help the final value in the appraisal.

  • Update your curb appeal.
    Speaking of first impressions, ideally you'd like to wow the appraiser before they even get out of the car. Make your house stand out among other South Bend homes for sale by making sure the exterior of your house is clean and attractive. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, touch up any chipping or peeling exterior paint, and stage the entrance with an attractive doormat, planters, and other decor.

  • Put together a highlight sheet for the appraiser.
    The appraiser isn't necessarily going to see all the work you've done to the place, so it doesn't hurt to point it out. Make a list of all the updates the house has, such as any remodeling or renovations, fresh paint, new carpet or flooring, and any other work worth mentioning. You want your house to look clean and updated, but you also don't want the appraiser to miss the work it's taken you to get it there, especially if the home is in an older neighborhood.

  • Clean!
    Last but not least, don't forget to clean like your house sale depended on it, as well it might! The house is probably already clean and staged if you've been showing it up until recently, but you may have let yourself have a much-needed break once it went under contract. If so, now is the time to go around and clean everything you haven't done in a while or may have missed before. A bright, clean home will make a better impression on the appraiser.

Setting the right price for your home is a key part of ensuring you'll have a successful appraisal. For help pricing your home to sell, contact us today.

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