How do you prepare for an appraisal?

7 Replies

Hello, does anybody have experience prepping a property to maximize the amount it will appraise for?  If so, what techniques did you use?

This would be done in the case of doing a cash out re-financing, or increasing the appraised value to get rid of PMI early.

Originally posted by @Josh Vernon :

Hello, does anybody have experience prepping a property to maximize the amount it will appraise for?  If so, what techniques did you use?

This would be done in the case of doing a cash out re-financing, or increasing the appraised value to get rid of PMI early.

 - Clean it like you have company coming over, which you do.

- Make sure there are no underway "projects." 

- Hand comps over.

- 3-4 months out: start going to future-comp open houses and get the disclosure packages from listing agents. Boom, now you know everything wrong with your comps that might explain why they went for less than yours. Share this paperwork, as needed, with the appraiser for the ones that have actually closed by the date of your appraisal.

@Josh Vernon

You could also add square footage to your property, or augment the current space to have more bedrooms or bathrooms if possible. Decks also add value. So does Central Air conditioning, as does a new or improved roof. But to Chris' point above, it comes down to the comps. What's your property like vs the ones in the area? Same goes for a higher end lease or rental amount, because they'll factor in your income from the property too.

A lot of these things require a permit to add on but when you do so, your assessed higher on your taxes (which may play in your favor with the appraisal).

Thanks, those are great points. Will appraisers typically accept comps that I prepare for them or is there a process that they have to follow to determine which houses to use? One thought I had was waiting for the winter after comp data comes available for sales during the summer. Assuming it's a rapidly appreciating market.

Are you looking to make modifications or upgrades to the property? Or are you just prepping for the short term? Although it technically shouldn't have a bearing on value, a clean house is helpful to easily maneuver around. Same with the exterior. If you have dogs, PLEASE clean up the backyard. If you present a well maintained property, it usually translates to believing you take care of it as a whole and deferred maintenance is minimized. If you are considering making modifications to the property, be sure to determine the cost vs value. Just because you spend $20,000, doesn't mean the value will increase $20,000. Research similar sales in the area and find out features of the highest sales. Do they have finished basements or perhaps a garage. You want to conform to the neighborhood. Feel free to connect if you need additional guidance.

If you have made capitol improvements since purchase you can provide receipts. Eg. Granite, patio and or patio cover. They will pull their own comps but you can explain if perhaps houses on the other side of x street sell for less due to proximity to multifamily or worse elementary. You get the idea. And yes, clean.

Originally posted by @Josh Vernon :
Thanks, those are great points.

Will appraisers typically accept comps that I prepare for them or is there a process that they have to follow to determine which houses to use?

One thought I had was waiting for the winter after comp data comes available for sales during the summer. Assuming it's a rapidly appreciating market.

 If they truly are the best comps, they will be used. 

I usually clean it, and make sure it has the best curb appeal possible, whether with fresh mulch out front or with flowers to set the impression.

The next thing is for any improvements, I have an outline of the improvements made, and the amount spent.

Finally I try to come up with the best comps that match the property.

I put that in a package and I make it available to them, without being pushy.

Most appraisers appreciate it.

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