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May
23

If you're selling your home, it's important that you ace the appraisal. Here's how to prep right.

If you're poised to list your home among Beavercreek homes for sale or Centerville homes for sale, your real estate agent has probably given you the lowdown on appraisals. Just to reprise what you probably were told: 1. If you really need to know how much your home is worth, you may have to order your own appraisal; and 2. A potential buyer may need to order an appraisal on your home to see if it's worth what you're asking for it. They can then seek a loan for the amount that you're asking if the appraisal figure agrees with it.

Regardless of whether this is your appraisal or your potential buyer's, you will need to get ready and put your best foot forward. What kinds of things will be looked at for an appraisal? This isn't exactly a staging, but it has aspects of that process. For now, the appraisal prep step is more like a general sprucing up. So let's roll up our sleeves and get busy.

  1. Look for damage and repair it.
    Walk around your property, inside and out, looking for damage. Cast a critical eye around, as you may overlook things because you're used to seeing them. But what would a potential buyer see? Cracks in the walls, scuffed paint, crumbling grout around windows, ragged weatherstripping, scuffed floors, dings in the walls or cabinetry. Check the outdoors too, for messy front porch, dirty windows, weeds in the flower beds, leaves and branches cluttering the yard, toys or litter in the yard, overgrown shrubbery or tree limbs, or sagging, broken gutters. What you can't take care of, hire a handyman or yard person.

  2. Make a list of any improvements you've made since you occupied the home.
    Whatever improvements you've made, put it on your list: had the roof replaced; had the electrical wiring updated; replaced sewer pipes; replaced appliances; replaced flooring; painted walls; added rain gutters; or resodded the yard. Even small improvements, such as replacing screen doors, replacing weather stripping around the front door, or even replacing doorknobs and cabinet hardware, should go on your list.

  3. Update the decor.
    Unless you've got a cool mid-century modern vibe going, you probably want your home to look current and updated — not frozen in the 50s with dark wall paneling or shag carpet (although shag has made a bit of a comeback ). You don't have to break the bank, but painting walls, spiffing up window treatments and rugs, and maybe replacing some worn chairs will go far to give the place a new look.

  4. Clean to the max.
    We don't really need to tell you this, do we? Clean walls, floors, windows, furniture, bathroom, and kitchen — and then clean some more. You want the place to sparkle.

  5. Install safety equipment; make sure it's working properly.
    Got a smoke alarm? Carbon monoxide monitor? Make sure they are working properly, with batteries, if need be, or wired to your home's electricity. If you don't have a security system, you might look into the cost of installing a basic, DIY system with some monitors, sensors, and alarms.

A note of caution: An appraisal can be expensive. You might want to lay off getting one and allow a potential buyer to do the honors. After all, they will have to do this anyway, and no lender will likely accept yours.

Questions about appraisals and other aspects of the selling process? Our REALTORS® can help. Contact Wright-Patt Realty today.