How to prepare for an appraisal as a home owner.

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Appraisal articles

If you have decided to put your home up for sale, or perhaps you are refinancing your mortgage, then there are some steps that you need to take. Getting your home prepared for an appraisal is a must. You have been enjoying your home for some time now, and you are in the perfect position to wax lyrical about it. When you list your home for sale, you are going to want to have it appraised. This is where a licensed professional will complete the appraisal and determine the market value of your home. Most refinance packages will also require you to get your home appraised too. It isn’t something that should cause you to stress, provided that you follow these easy steps to prepare your home for appraisal.

Safety Equipment

You should have a number of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and other hardware around the home. These are designed to keep you safe should anything happen. It is essential that you check that they all work. If not, make sure that they are all replaced before your home gets appraised.

You should have a number of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and other hardware around the home. These are designed to keep you safe should anything happen. It is essential that you check that they all work. If not, make sure that they are all replaced before your home gets appraised.

Get Critical

The chipped paint on the windows might be something you consider to be quirky and part of your aesthetic, however from the outside, that might be something that puts a buyer off. Most buyers like to have a home that is pretty much finished and ready to move in to. Creaky floorboards? Leaky gutters? What about that door that needs a nudge in the winter to close properly?

All of these things need to be fixed before the appraiser arrives. Not only will this make it better for the potential buyers, but it means that the previous owners have looked after the house.


Suppose you have made some big improvements in the home or even small ones. Make sure that you have these listed and can let the appraiser know. If you have upgraded the wiring, or perhaps had a new Air-co system fitted, it all counts. All of the things you have upgraded and added to the property will positively impact your appraisal.


If the paint hasn’t been done in a while, or the rug is a little musty, although cosmetic, these things can have an impact too. But the will give the impression that the home has been taken care of. A more modern appearance can often help entice new buyers too. You might be surprised to find just how faded your white walls have gotten over the years.

This is also a great time to update some of those materials in your home too. If your flooring has seen better days, then replacing individual laminate slats, or even the carpet is a good idea. Chipped flooring is something that an appraiser and prospective buyers will both look at.

Consider what your countertops and cupboard doors are made of too. You don’t need to replace them with costly materials, but something that is more modern, and perhaps with a neutral look too.


And then clean some more. It might be a good idea to get a cleaning company to give your home a deep clean. We get so used to cleaning our homes in a specific way that we might still miss something even when we are doing a deep clean ourselves. It isn’t just about the inside, either. The garden, balconies, walls, and pathing should also be cleaned down.

If you have carpets, then you should make sure you have it deep cleaned. Carpets hold a lot of dirt and odors, a deep clean will remove any smells, and it will look much cleaner.


There will likely be a number of properties in the same area that can give you an indicator of the price. However, you may have made some upgrades that price you out of the area. Most of the sale prices for these homes are available online, but if they aren’t, you can speak to your neighbors about it (if they are willing).

Back Yard

It is a good idea to make sure that your lawn is mowed, and if there are sparse or dead patches that you have these taken care of in advance. Trim back any trees and shrubs, and have any dead trees or plants removed. If the yard is paved, then adding some flowers in pots will give a more pleasant view.

If there are pet toys or children’s toys, then pack these away in garden storage. It gives a better impression. If you have flower beds, then remove weeds, dead leaves, and other garden debris. This goes for the front garden too. Houses that have higher curb-appeal tend to get better appraisals.


If you have pets, they will bring a specific smell to your home. And while you won’t want to banish them to the shed, you’ll have to double down on cleaning and maintenance. Pet beds hold a lot of dander, dirt and can often smell musty.

Give the dog bed a deep clean, or get a new one, and ensure it is washed well on a high temperature once a week as a minimum in the lead up to get your house appraised.

This will ensure that there aren’t any rogue smells when the appraiser arrives – and it won’t be as difficult to achieve a more neutral smell in the home. Remember that when the appraiser arrives, they need to be able to work efficiently, so if you have friendly furry animals, you might want to take them out for a walk or secure them safely.


One thing to be conscious of is the cost of the cleaning, upgrades, and updates. If they start to add up too much, you being to be unlikely to see those returned in the appraisal. And on the other hand, if these things aren’t fixed, they will get noted down and may reduce your home’s overall value. Anything that will cost less than $300-$500 to fix is work fixing immediately.

Look at what surrounds you home. Are there local schools? Easy transport links? Stores or restaurants? Think about all of the additions in the area that make your house well positioned.


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