Are you home appraisal ready?

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Thinking about a home appraisal? Leigh Bayreuther, of Beayruther Enterprises based in Connecticut, has been appraising homes for over 30 years and has seen everything from cluttered floors to hoarding nightmares. According to him, it’s best to be prepared. Whether you’re refinancing, remodeling or selling your home, there are several helpful tips you should know before an appraiser visit to help ensure an accurate appraisal.

1.  Clean up.

While an appraiser isn’t concerned about the clutter in your home, there are certain messes that they will take note of—stained carpets or marked walls that were a result of prior water damage or structural problems will draw unwanted attention.  

2.  Make a list of all home updates.

An appraiser will want to know about previous home renovations. Create a list of everything you've done to your home from a new sink to a new addition. There are certain updates an appraiser may not see, like new insulation. Be prepared with up-to-date information.

3.  Make all parts of your home accessible.

Appraisers are interested in the structure and condition of your home. Make sure that he or she can get to electrical panels, air ducts, the basement, furnace and attic. With stuff and clutter in the way, the appraiser can’t do his or her job. “Access to equipment is really important for me,” says Beyreuther. “If the electrical panel is located in the back of closet, make sure I can get there.”

4.  Remember that the outside matters, too.

An appraiser will photograph and inspect everything outside as well as inside your home. An overgrown landscape will make that job difficult—and the results won't be attractive. Mow the lawn and trim back unwanted shrubbery to add to your curb appeal. This is especially important when selling your home.

5.  Offer location details.

If there is anything attractive about your neighborhood, such as a new playground or access to a lake, mention it.  Location is an important factor for a home appraisal.