You’ve received and accepted an offer, agreed-upon credits and repairs, and had a visit from an inspector — now, it’s time for the home appraisal. So, what should you expect?

Let’s start with the basics. A home appraisal is the unbiased estimated fair market value of a property. It is the most common form of home valuation, often required when buying or selling a home or refinancing a mortgage. The appraisal is conducted by an unbiased third-party licensed appraiser that has no direct contact with the buyer, seller or lender. Appraisal management companies (AMCs) are often responsible for coordinating and assigning appraisers to ensure an unbiased valuation.

The home appraisal process can often be stressful for both sellers and buyers — and understandably so. Nearly 20% of real estate contract delays are caused by appraisal issues and there’s a possibility the appraised value may come in lower than the asking price. These unknowns can add to an already nerve-wracking situation but being prepared can take some of the guesswork out of the equation. To help sellers better navigate the process, we’ve outlined four ways to prepare for a home appraisal.

Gather Paperwork

Before the appraisal, gather any important documents to share with the appraiser that may help streamline the process. For example, land surveys showing the total size of the property, blueprints, neighborhood stats and information, recent sale prices of homes in your area and a list of recent renovations.

Upgrade Curb Appeal

When it comes to homes, it’s not only what’s on the inside that counts. Taking time to help improve the home’s exterior — investing in lawn maintenance, clearing any trash or debris from the yard, and tidying up the front porch — boosts curb appeal and can make an impact on the overall value.

Get Squeaky Clean
Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get to deep cleaning. From clearing clutter to treating floors, working through a cleaning checklist can help you present your home in the best light. This helps appraisers gain an accurate understanding of the space necessary for their valuation.

Pay Attention to the Details

Don’t get dinged for overlooking minor repairs. Fixing things like broken handles, tightening loose doorknobs, greasing squeaky door hinges and fixing chipped paint can also help prepare your home for an accurate appraisal.

While there may be other elements of the valuation process beyond your control, taking charge of these simple steps can help you be better prepared. As a nationwide AMC, the team at MVS is here to help demystify the valuation process. For more real estate insights, sign up for our eNewsletter and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.