Staging Your Home for Appraisal
You’ve had your home for sale for some time and finally got an offer you accepted. But wait, it’s not time to celebrate yet. What if the home doesn’t appraise for what the buyer offered?
Almost every day a sale falls through because of low appraisals. What’s even worse, the house goes back on the market, and you now have to lower the price, or you’ll find yourself in the same situation when the next acceptable offer comes, if it ever does. So what to do?
Consider staging your home for appraisal
Staging for the appraiser is just as important as staging for a new buyer, maybe even more so. Sellers should get a physical inspection for the property being sold which gives them the opportunity to get any safety items addressed ahead of time. (This actually should have been done before even putting the house on the market).
The home needs to be decluttered inside and out, looking in tip top shape, as if you are showing the home for the first time with no offer on the table. Make sure your lawn and shrubs are trimmed neatly and watered. Have your front door and entry clean, free of cobwebs.
The appraiser will be looking for any defects the lender will require fixing. Replace missing kitchen cupboard doors, malfunctioning drawers, broken windows, etc.
Ceiling stains from an old roof leak will draw attention. If the problem has been repaired, follow up with the necessary cosmetic work such as painting the previous problem area. If you have a leaky roof you will want to get it repaired with proper documentation to pass on to the new owner. Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed and working. Both of these are now lender required safety items.
The appraiser will need to see inside the garage and have access to the entire home and yard. By making sure everything is out of the way, you can eliminate the need for the appraiser to revisit the home.
If the appraisal number for your home doesn’t come in high enough, the buyer’s lender will not approve the loan, and you may lose the sale. Consider the appraiser’s visit just as important as the buyer coming in for the first time.
In today’s tight real estate market, lenders are very cautious about making loans, especially concerning the property valuations from the appraiser. This is why staging your home for the appraisal is so very important.