Sonoma County, California Home Sellers AND buyers–get out of the Appraisers way! Let me start by saying there are many really good appraisers. Unfortunately, not all home appraisers are created equal. Some make a genuine effort and others are just in a hurry to get this appraisal done and move on to the next one.
Some come from out of the area, and they’re not familiar with your particular neighborhood, and how it compares to the others nearby.. Low appraisals can be a real problem as scarcity of homes and multiple offers are driving up prices.
Appraisers are limited to looking back at recently sold properties within a limited radius of your home, not what homes are in escrow for today. They need all the help they can get…although, some are not interested in anything you have to offer. Your best bet is to have the information available anyways. Here are some good suggestions for things you can do to improve your home appraisal; Thanks to loan officer, Kevin Long. http://kevinlongloans.blogspot.com/
Eight Ways to Improve Your Home Appraisal
1. Make Sure Your Appraiser Knows Your Neighborhood
There are pockets and micro communities. If you step off the curb, you’re in a different zone. So make sure your appraiser knows that just because you’re in one district doesn’t mean you’re in the same neighborhood as the places 3 miles down the road.
2. Provide Your Own Comparables
If you provide the appraiser with three solid and well-priced comparable properties, you will save them time as well as ensure that they have appropriate comparables rather then having them randomly pick some from the neighborhood.
3. Know What Adds the Most Value
Kitchens and bathrooms get the most value. However, wood floors, landscaping and enclosed garages also increase appraisals.
4. Document Your Fix Ups
You’d want to do this for tax and insurance purposes. But if the records are a little haphazard, take some time and organize it into different file folders, and make them available for the appraiser.
5. Talk Up Your Town
Has your town gotten any award, or award winning restaurants, museums, parks, colleges, etc? Make your community seem vibrant as it will increase the perceived value of your home.
6. Distinguish Between Upstairs and Downstairs
If you’ve remodeled and completely finished a basement or an attic, you will need to point that out to the appraiser, as these are often not counted in the square footage, and therefore the final appraisal.
7. Clean Up
Clean up and declutter where you can. Put flowers out. Have cookies baking. Make your home seem clean, upscale, and organized.
8. Let the Appraiser Alone to Do Their Job
If you follow the appraiser around, they’ll be more focused on you then on the home, so let them know where you are if they have any questions.