Although everything in your home is essential, there are certain things that the appraiser will be looking for that don’t include the home’s position, square footage and the number of rooms in the house.
We will look at other factors involved in the house appraisal or valuation, and many of these are dictated by the market, so it will be worth trying to meet the criteria for buying a house!
1. The Floor Plan is Dark and Does Not Flow
Older-style houses were traditionally closed-off with lots of rooms, so it may be worth knocking down a few walls and opening your home up if you are doing a renovation. Homebuyers now favor an open layout for easy living. This is especially true if you have the perfect aspect of a South-facing back garden. Letting in the light could prove financially beneficial during the appraisal process.
When you knock down walls, it can be a fantastic transformation in an older home. In many cases, you move what real estate appraisers refer to as functional obsolescence. For example, walking through a dining room to get to a bedroom is not ideal.
By removing walls, you can often change the lighting patterns and the home’s flow, creating a much more desirable floor plan today’s buyers will appreciate.
If your home doesn’t need a floor plan change, there are other ways to create the illusion of light, including:
– Painting your walls a bright color or even a bright white
– Using strategic mirrors to reflect the light
– Erecting some large seascapes or other artwork reflective of light
– Arranging furniture to create an excellent open flow
When you sell your property, the REALTOR® will probably advise you to send substantial furniture to a self-storage unit, making the house look much more spacious. By doing so, you can open up the flow, which you can’t do with clutter.
Doing these things can make the home look that much more appealing to not only homebuyers but also an appraiser.
2. The Condition of Your Driveway
Before getting the appraiser in, you may have to give your driveway a quick makeover. The driveway is the first thing visitors to your home will see, so if it is asphalt, even it out to get rid of cracks. Getting a driveway seal coat can go a long way toward improving the appearance.
3. Any Strange Odors Coming From Inside
There may be a cracked sewage pipe under your house—and if there is, fix it. Get a plumber in to have a look. Mold can also smell terrible, so check for it.
If you must deodorize under the floor in your house, start with a few bags of garden lime to neutralize the odor. Throw open the windows and burn incense (sandalwood) when no one is there.
4. Outdoor Shed and Outbuildings
If your outdoor shed looks ramshackle and unpainted, get it repaired and painted before the appraiser comes over. A wooden shed will look nice painted cream with green trim and a green roof. The main thing is that it is made to look neat and clean.
You don’t want the shed to impact negatively on your property sale. Plant a small garden bed along the side of it, with a few seasonal flowers.
5. Unsightly Neighbors
When appraisal time comes, no one wants a bad neighbor. If your neighbor never mows the lawn, get the contractor in to do your yard and offer them a free mow at the same time. It will be worth it to ensure the appraiser doesn’t downgrade your property.
Get any overhanging branches cut back and generally tidy up the yard. Make sure that their rubbish bin has been taken inside.
6. A House With a Terrible Past
It’s better to not buy a house where a recent murder has occurred, as you can’t do much about the past. The appraiser could take this into account.
Final Thoughts on Factors That Impact Your Appraisal
Chat to your real estate agent about what else you should do to get more ideas on what impacts a house appraisal.
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 33 years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England for the past decade. In 2018, he was the No. 1 RE/MAX real estate agent in Massachusetts.