In a residential real estate sale, the buyer’s bank orders an appraisal after the buyer has a firm contract on a property. The appraisal is a key element in the stressful 3 to 6 weeks between going under contract and sitting at the closing table. The appraiser is looking for the same things the buyer was looking at. Listed below is my best advice to seller’s when they get the call from their agent that the appraiser is coming:
1 Bring out the cleaning supplies. Clean was important to the buyer and is just as important to the appraiser. Make sure there are no odors but whatever you do, DO NOT use the plug-in air fresheners. They immediately alert buyers that there may be a problem and they can also make them sick (allergies). Turn on all of the lights before the appraiser arrives. Make sure your front door and yard is welcoming and well groomed.
2 If you got buyer feedback and it is something that is easy to fix – fix it.
3 Do you have a strong community? Is there something notable happening? Is the school nearby? Do you have a neighborhood newsletter? Leave this information for the appraiser.
4 If you have done some improvements to the home in the last 5 years or major improvements in the last 10 years, leave some before and after photos along with a detailed spreadsheet of what was spent on the repairs/replacements. Don’t forget to highlight electrical systems, heating/cooling systems, energy improvements – the things that are harder to see but improve value.
5 Ask your agent to provide the most recent sales that are within the radius etc
6 Open the blinds and drapes, turn on all lights
Leave the house