Whether you are refinancing your primary home to get a HELOC or you’re refinancing a rental property after a renovation there are some things you should do to ensure your appraiser has all the info they need to make a proper assessment.
Here are the main items appraisers look at when determining the value of your property:
Location of home
Age of home
Size of home
Design of home
Interior of home
Signs of infestation
Signs of water damage
Many parts of the appraisal you have no control over. The appraiser will also review recent solds in the area as comparables (they typically look at what was sold in the last 3-6 months depending on the area) which you also have no control over.
But don’t worry, there are some things you still can control!
We have found a few things that have helped make the property show well (that don’t cost anything) and may have helped nudge the final number a little (we think – the appraiser will not confirm nor deny)…
Make sure the house is clean!
Even though a tidy house won’t make it worth more it makes it easier for the appraiser to see the improvements you’ve made or things that make the house unique, like large baseboards) if they can’t see all those things it’s worth nothing. It also impacts how they “feel” when they are there. Leaving a home feeling good probably impacts their report (a tiny bit).
Curb appeal matters.
Have your yard tidy and manicured if you can.
"“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Will Rogers
Prepare an appraisal package.
The last thing we do which is probably the most important is to prepare an appraisal package which includes all our renovations, costs, rents and some comparables we found (you can ask a friendly realist to pull some for you). This helps make their job easier so they don’t have to write everything down when they are there, and you can point out things they may have missed (like a custom closet you had installed).