How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal

How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal
Whether you are selling or refinancing, appraisals matter. If you are a homeowner trying to sell or refinance your property, here are a few tips to get your home in shipshape for that appraisal.

What is the Appraiser Looking For?

  • Exterior

  • An appraiser will be looking for defects in the foundation, walls, and roof. Tidying up the roof and applying moss killer, if needed, is a good idea before the appraiser makes it out to your home. Touching up paint on the exterior isn’t a bad idea either. Mow the lawn, clean up the weeds, and spruce up the yard. Curb appeal gives a good first impression.

  • Interior

  • An appraiser will be taking a look at your windows, doors, flooring, fixtures, appliances, etc. Be sure to tidy up your home to make these areas and items more accessible and easy to inspect. Repairing any wall damage, cleaning up around plumbing fixtures, and mopping the floors are all good ways to present your home in the best possible light.

  • Improvements
Have you made recent improvements to your home? Added a new HVAC system, renovated a bathroom, upgraded to stainless steel appliances? All of these will be taken into account in the appraisal for your home. Be present at the appraisal to let the appraiser know what upgrades you’ve made to your property that wouldn’t be immediately obvious. Go a step further and provide the appraiser with a list of these improvements or upgrades.
    Typically, an appraisal for your home will be evaluated using the Sales Comparison Approach. The appraiser will use current market data, no older than six months, with homes similar to your property and in proximity. From there, the appraiser will make adjustments, if applicable, to the comparable homes and adjust the market price. 

    For Example: if a comparable home has a fireplace and the subject home does not have a fireplace, the appraiser will deduct the value of a fireplace from the sold price of the comparable home. Once complete, the appraiser will have a good idea of your property’s value.

    Once the appraiser determines the market price, they will also indicate whether the valuation is “as-is” or “subject to.” Indicating “as-is” means there are no defects that need attention. Other times, the appraiser will indicate “subject to” stipulations. These could be anything from “add carbon monoxide detector to the second floor” to “replace the roof.” Once the “subject to” items are completed, the appraiser will revisit the home to confirm and reevaluate.

    Most of these items may seem like common sense, but it’s a good checklist to make sure your home makes the best impression when that appraiser comes knocking. If you’re ready to sell your home and are looking for home financing help, give me a call – no matter where you are in the process! As a local Senior Mortgage Banker, I know the Vancouver and Portland-area real estate markets and am happy to answer any questions and help you on your way to achieving your homeownership dreams.

    Give me a call or email me today to learn more!


    Senior Mortgage Banker • NMLS 118513

    C: 360.910.2195 | O: 360.567.2326
    Summit Mortgage Corporation • NMLS 3236

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