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How can I maximize my appraisal?

If you aren’t looking into refinancing right now then you should be. Rates are extra low and its fueling our biggest refi & market boom since Brexit.  A common question I get asked during this time is “How Can I Maximize my Appraisal?” One thing to note is with the market booming the way it has many refinances don’t even need an in person appraisal, some can pass with a desktop appraisal. In that case…Advance to Go and collect $200.

If you are in a sale process then your agent should be taking many of these measures for you. However if you are refinancing and therefore do not have a Realtor then here are a few tips :

  1. Use a lender that uses local appraisers that know your area. My last appraisal on my own home was very generous and it was super helpful in meeting our real estate goals.  This was largely due to using an appraiser that knew our local market. I had a client recently use an appraiser just slightly outside the area for a private appraisal and his came in at least $50k below value.
  2. Be friendly…I know it seems to go without saying, but be nice to your appraiser. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. A warm welcome and a smile can do that.
  3. Make a list of all of your upgrades and your years of upgrades. This will help them substantiate price points. Also, even if things were not updated recently or in your ownership they are going to ask you things like age of furnace, roof, water heater, HVAC systems. So to have that info handy will score you extra bonus points.
  4. If time allows take some extra steps to make sure the house looks showing ready. They take pictures while they are there and pass them in with appraisal. A true professional will not let the state of the house sway them too much, but we are all human and if they actually love and appreciate the space it will undoubtedly trickle through to the appraisal. Similarly if there are any half-finished projects, try to finish them up.  Make sure the house smells good and is nice and bright. Temporarily replace dull light saving bulbs with the full energy bright ones ?
  5. Do your research….any time we are meeting an appraiser for the sale of a house we pull comps in the neighborhood. The appraiser will do this too, but they haven’t been in the house, they don’t always intimately know your neighborhood. So if you know of some good comparables that have a sold at nice high price points you can print them out and hand them to them with your list of updates. I am always happy to do this for my clients when they are refinancing, so if you’d like assistance feel free to reach out!

Good luck and Happy Refi!

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