Selling a home can be a long, stressful process. However, plenty of cash home buyers in NYC are eager to find new properties, so even selling a rundown house is not impossible.
But the home appraisal process is pivotal. Keep reading to learn more about home appraisals and how to get a high appraisal!
What Hurts a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal is when an unbiased professional assesses a home’s value and gives a report detailing their opinion.
The appraisal may be for a lender, refinancing, home loan, or home purchase, or to determine a fair market value so you can set an asking price. Qualified appraisers look for a million different things when appraising a home, so it can be hard to know how to prepare.
There may be an appraisal fee, but if you have a mortgage lender, they will likely cover it. This in-person inspection can be anxiety-inducing, so it’s crucial to prepare mentally and prep your property.
The section below will dive deeper into things that hurt a home appraisal, but the main takeaway is the best way to avoid a poor sale price is to prepare thoroughly.
Dirty spaces, unkept areas, and a lack of knowledge of the property or neighborhood can all hurt a home appraisal. Keep reading to learn more about prepping for an appraisal as a homeowner.
Things That Hurt a Home Appraisal
So, what does an appraiser consider when assessing a home? Before you can get ready for your home appraisal, you need to understand what the appraiser will look for.
Understanding the perspective and awareness of a home appraiser makes it exponentially easier to receive an excellent appraisal, making selling a house in poor condition more profitable.
Even if the home is in excellent shape with shiny new appliances and a gorgeous layout, a bad neighborhood or region can substantially lower the appraisal value.
Areas with higher crime rates deter potential buyers, so a beautiful home in an unpleasant area may have a lower final value than a mediocre home in a lovely neighborhood.
Locations with extreme weather will also lower the value of the home, as severe weather conditions mean more home repairs and maintenance.
Lastly, appraisers also consider the accessibility of the home and the proximity of schools, hospitals, public transportation, shopping centers, grocery stores, and other amenities. Unfortunately, a home’s location is typically out of your control.
Older homes typically have less market value because they require more upkeep and usually don’t offer the modern appliances and features of newer homes. While older homes have a unique charm, they may also have potential safety hazards.
New homes have rigorous safety standards using modern technology and materials. But older homes may have outdated electrical systems, old-school plumbing, lead paint, low insulation, or poor ventilation.
Despite the allure of ornate fireplaces and traditional crown moldings, homes that are 50+ years old usually receive a low appraisal. On the other hand, homes built in the last decade will have a high appraisal.
The condition of the property plays a substantial role in the appraisal value. A well-cared-for home will get a much higher appraisal, especially if you can prove there’s been regular maintenance and repairs.
Unlike house flippers, appraisers are not there to assess the home’s potential. They’re there to determine the home’s value in its current state. Serious things like a decrepit roof will hurt the appraisal, but even small things like chipped paint will harm the property’s value.
Everything from an in-ground pool to ceiling fans can be considered amenities and will be in the appraisal report. Amenities, as long as they are safe and operational, will rarely hurt your appraisal value.
Even small things like modern lighting or large windows can increase the appraisal value. Nowadays, smart features are especially sought after, such as remote-controlled security systems, motion detectors, and energy-efficient appliances.
Lastly, the appraiser will consider the layout compared to the local market. The value of a home’s layout can be subjective, but appraisers look for things like spacious rooms with lots of square footage, high ceilings, convenient bathrooms, and privacy features. For example, a five-bedroom home with one bathroom is not ideal.
While a two-bedroom home with three bathrooms is extremely desirable, so the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is crucial.
They’ll consider the size of the bathrooms and the kitchen. Patios, porches, or decks can also boost the appraisal value. The home’s layout is not eh most important factor in a home appraisal, but still plays a part in the final valuation.
How To Stop Your Home Appraisal from Going Badly
The next section will tell you precise things you can do to make your home appraisal more successful. However, those options can be expensive and effortful. If you just want to know how to get ready for your upcoming home appraisal, there are some simple steps below.
Consult Your Realtor
Realtors are appraisal experts, so your real estate agent may be able to tell you what small things you can do to make the appraisal go smoother. Consult with your realtor for advice and tips before the appraisal.
Ask Your Realtor To Join
If possible, ask your realtor to join you during the appraisal. Again, they likely know more about appraisals than you and can help answer questions or explain aspects of the home to the appraiser.
Research the Area
Appraisers assess properties compared to other houses in the area. For example, if you have a small kitchen, but so do comparable homes on your block, this may not hurt your appraisal as much.
Understanding similar homes and market conditions can give you an idea of your home’s value before the appraisal.
Stay with the Appraiser
Lastly, stay with the appraiser during the home inspection. They can walk around by themselves, but it’s best to follow them so you can offer information and explanations if necessary.
Things To Do To Avoid a Bad Home Appraisal
If you want to know how to improve your odds of a good appraisal, find some suggestions below. Some of these suggestions cost money, which may not be in your budget. However, you can do a few free things to boost your chances of a successful residential appraisal.
The home’s overall condition is important, and broken appliances or damaged areas can substantially hurt your appraisal results. Try to repair everything you can, whether it’s a chipped tile, an unhinged door, or a squeaky gate.
Massive repairs may be out of reach, like fixing a roof. But tackling as many small or medium repairs as possible can make a difference.
Check Major Systems
The appraiser will check all the home’s major systems, so beat them to it. You can hire a professional or inspect the systems yourself if you’re knowledgeable and handy. At the very least, turn the systems on to ensure they work.
Major systems include the HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, security, and anything else that affects the entire home.
Clean and Declutter
As mentioned, the costs to fix up a house for sale can be immense, but cleaning and decluttering are free! You can always hire a professional cleaning service, but cleaning the house yourself can save money and help you identify problems you didn’t know were there.
Clean the house thoroughly from top to bottom and remove absolutely everything that doesn’t need to be there, as a messy house is not appealing. If you still live in the home, try to organize as much as possible and keep the floors, countertops, and surfaces 100% clear.
Tend to the Landscape
Cleaning and decluttering should also include the property’s landscape. Mow the lawn, prune the bushes, pull the weeds, and maybe even plant flowers if you have the time. Remove any trash or debris that’s blown onto the property and try to boost the curb appeal as much as possible.
This method is one of the more expensive ones along with making repairs. You can make renovations on the property, which will substantially increase the value of your home. But home improvements are expensive, so may not be feasible if you’re selling your property on a budget.
And if your goal is to unload the property as soon as possible, you can sell a house fast in New York without making significant upgrades.
Another free way to make your home appraisal go smoother, you can make a list of all the attractive amenities in your home.
While professional appraisers do not typically miss much, preparing a detailed list of the home’s amenities and features ensures all positive elements are accounted for in the report.
Home appraisals can be the difference between a profitable sale and a loss. While it may seem like many of these elements are out of your control, you’d be surprised how far a deep cleaning can go with an appraiser.