An appraiser’s job is to examine properties on an objective basis and state how much they would be worth on the market; this is based on a number of factors like the condition of the property, the functionality of utilities, where the house is geographically located and so forth. How the borrower addresses any issues or problems they notice with the property beforehand can determine its overall value by the time the appraiser has completed his or her checkup.
The property should be open and accessible to the appraiser so be sure to clean up any areas relevant to the inspection. Even though this is not necessarily applicable to the appraiser’s work on site, it is recommended that the whole house look presentable and any loose items are picked up after; the appraiser is a guest in the home after all and leaving a great first impression makes it more likely that the appraiser gives the home a high value.
Going off of the last point, making some cosmetic changes like paint touch-ups and replacing outdated furniture can boost an appraiser’s impression of a property while taking pictures and even boost the practicality/efficiency of the house itself by implementing more up-to-date technology. This puts less wear-and-tear on the property as opposed to relying on 50-year old furnaces and refrigerators that are not as energy-efficient as their contemporary equivalents.
It is helpful to organize a list of repairs and upgrades that ought to be made before the appraiser arrives like broken windows, non-functional door bells, chipping paint, and leaking pipes. Improving the landscaping around the home by replacing dead plants and grass can also go a long way in boosting the property’s appeal, along with trimming any hedges present and cleaning the gutters out front. Addressing all of this before the appraiser arrives will save him or her time on inspecting the property and increase the home’s value.
In addition, it’s important to make sure that all of the utilities like gas, water, and electricity are functioning properly before the appraiser checks for him or herself, along with any carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. In an earthquake-prone state like California, it is essential for water heater tanks to have two earthquake straps in order to resist motion and thus major damage to the property that would result from fires, flooding, or gas leakages.
On a final note, if the property has had any previous appraisals it is a good idea to review those and address any issues those reports raise so that the home will be ready next time it’s due for an appraiser’s evaluation.