The buyer has made an offer, the seller has accepted, and it’s time for next steps. And one of those is, of course, the appraisal. Even though this is an expense that the buyer pays, the seller is basically in control of the outcome. So as a Realtor, it’s your responsibility to assist your seller in having the best possible result when the appraiser comes to call.
Here’s the best advice you can give: Instead of waiting until the sale is in process, start getting ready for the appraisal the minute the home is listed. This will accomplish two things. Not only will you be ready when the appraiser shows up, you have an opportunity to get the home into the best possible condition early, thus attracting more buyers and higher offers. You can’t lose. Here are six important steps you can take, before and during the appraisal process.
- Make cosmetic improvements
- Compile comparable sales
- List upgrades
- Put out the welcome mat
- Do the disappearing act
1. Make cosmetic improvements. This is something every homeowner should do when getting ready to list the home. Not only will this attract prospective buyers, it will let the appraiser know that there is pride of ownership in the property and that it’s been well maintained. Think about things like caulking around tubs and sinks, regrouting tile or cleaning existing grout. Power wash the home exterior. Touch up paint, both interior and exterior, that’s showing wear, or repaint entire rooms if colors are outdated. If your teenager has plastered walls with hip-hop posters or sprinkled the ceiling with stars, neutralize these items before other Realtors, buyers, or appraisers show up.