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How to Increase the Appraised Value
When doing an appraisal that will be used for financing purposes, the appraiser is expected to inspect the property and evaluate it just as a "typical buyer" would.

Following are things you can do to increase the value in both instances:

  • Clean it up: Most important and the biggest 'bang for the buck' is cleanliness. Neither an appraiser nor a buyer can tell if a carpet is stained or dirty. Have it cleaned or at least vacuumed.
  • Remove the clutter: Wash the dishes. Put away the dirty clothes. Pick up the toys. Straighten the furniture. Make the property look cared for.
  • Touch up the paint: Are those dirty handprints permanent? Either wash them off or touch up the paint. Fresh paint is probably the second least expensive and has the second biggest impact of things you can do to increase value.
  • Get rid of any smells: Pet odor and smoke odor are two big deterrents to sale and really diminish value. Appraisers know that getting rid of odor can require removing the carpet and pad and treating the concrete, priming the wall with Kilz or another product, paint, removing the window treatments and cleaning the ductwork. In bad cases this can cost thousands of dollars. So, if possible, get rid of the odor before the appraiser (or potential buyer) steps through your front door.
  • Clean up the yard: Make sure the lawn is mowed and weeds are pulled from desert landscaping. Debris and animal waste should be removed from any flower beds or rear yard. Trim plants so that the yard does not look like a jungle. Plant flowers in flower beds if they are barren. Landscaping does count. It adds to the first impression of the home.
  • Make sure your entrance looks well cared for an inviting. This may mean painting or refinishing the front door. A weathered door with a dirty porch gives everyone a poor first impression.
  • Make minor repairs: If the front door sticks, fix it. If there is a broken window, replace it. Minor repairs start an appraiser (and a buyer) looking for more problems.
  • Turn on the lights and open the window coverings to let in the light. An appraiser needs to see what she's inspecting and a typical buyer wants "light and bright".
Prepare your house for an appraiser just as you would if you would be putting it on the market.
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It's really quite simple:
  • Pick it up.
  • Clean it up.
  • Fix it up.
Joanna's new book will guide you through the process of getting your home ready to sell or getting it ready for refinancing.

Up Your Value can be purchased at any of the following links: