How to prepare for appraisal?

In an ideal world sellers want to receive a non-contingent offer. But sometimes there will be an appraisal contingency. It’s not a bad sign so don’t panic! Although you cannot change the market value of your home, as the seller, you can help the appraisal run smoothly.

First make sure the appraiser can walk through your home. This means cleaning the house thoroughly so there is not too much clutter and every space is visible. If you have pets in the house, put them away during the appointment so that they are not a distraction to the appraiser. If the house is vacant already, make sure that the house has been cleaned, especially after open houses. Don’t remove the staging before appraisal contingencies have been removed. Staging can help accentuate some of the features of your home!

Second, if you made recent additions to your home or upgrades, write out a list and provide it to the appraiser. Most importantly, make sure the buyer agent representing the buyer provides the appraiser with the recent comparables they used when they made the offer on the house. Sometimes appraisers are not as familiar with the neighborhood as a real estate agent, which can lead to under valuation of the home.

Third, appraisers may not be straight forward with their questions.  They may comment, “Your house looks very nice. Looking at the comparable home sales in other neighborhoods, it looks like your home sold for less than I would expect. Why didn’t you get a higher price?” These tips will help you be better prepared when the appraiser comes and speed up the process.

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