Charlotte Home Sellers | Here are 10 tips for an accurate appraisal on your home
We recently read an article in Reuters and thought we’d revive an old list of tips for Charlotte home sellers to achieve an accurate appraisal on their homes. We were formerly big believers in having our sellers obtain a pre-listing appraisal from a professional. However, because appraisers’ knowledge of the area and the resulting variables with the final appraisal, we’ve seen them as far off (the final being different than the pre-listing appraisal) as $30,000 – $75,000. It’s not always in the sellers’ favor either!
When your home goes under Contract, your buyers’ next steps will be to have an appraisal completed and their inspections done as part of their Due Diligence. Remember, the devil is in the details so, be SURE that you pay attention to this one very important set of details. We put together our list once again and added a couple that both the Reuters article mentioned and a few that we’ve discovered over on our own the past year as well.
Charlotte Home Sellers | 10 Tips for an Accurate Appraisal
1. Be certain that the appraiser knows the neighborhood/area – Request that your agent speak with the lender, explaining that you would prefer to have a local appraiser do the work–not someone from a nearby city, which we are seeing a lot of. In fact, if you have an appraiser phone you who doesn’t have your local MLS key (to access the lockbox that is on your front door), chances are they are NOT from the area. If this happens, phone your agent right away to discuss having another appraiser do the job.
2. Share the scoop – Certainly by now, your Charlotte real estate agent has done extensive research on comparable properties in the neighborhood. Be certain that your agent passes that information along to the appraiser.
3. Careful now…no hovering – Having the sellers at his/her elbow during the appraisal can be quite distracting for the appraiser. Your mission is primarily to focus on making sure your home looks its best BEFORE the appraiser arrives. Be certain that your agent is available for any questions that you or your appraiser may have and then be ‘available’ should the appraiser need you but, don’t hover!
4. Don’t be greedy – Many Charlotte NC home sellers are receiving multiple Offers once again. Be careful when reviewing Offers on your home as the temptation is typically to take the highest Offer and run with it. That’s not always the smartest move–especially if the seller is not willing to pay more for the home than fair market value (as represented by the appraisal). Being greedy may not end in the sale that you want. If a bidding war ensues on your home and amps up the price beyond its value, your best bet may be a lower Offer. The fair market value Offer won’t be nixed by the lender and if the house fails to appraise high enough, you could be back to square-one.
5. KNOW what ads value and what doesn’t – Kitchen, baths and hardscaping have been noted most recently as valuable assets in local appraisals. Be sure to make those areas sparkle when the appraiser is visiting.
6. Put together a list of home improvements for the appraiser – You will want to list any upgrades you’ve made on your home and amenities that might be overlooked by a simple glance into the MLS data sheet. Remember: No one knows your home better than you do!
7. Provide a list of area improvements – YES, appraisers note on their appraisals if the area is one of growth or demise. Be certain that he/she knows about recent economic development in your area. Are new high-end neighborhoods being built…and SELLING? Are local businesses thriving in the area? Make a note of what you know about your area–remember, you may ‘take advantage’ of the area amenities and forget to mention those. Think of what you do on a daily/weekly basis–where you go, the businesses that you frequent, the parks you visit, etc. Share that information with the appraiser.
8. The basement IN NOT as valuable as the main level – Below grade square footage is NOT calculated in an appraisal the same as above-ground square feet. As stated in the Reuters article as well, “…a basement renovation that cost $63,000 in 2011-12 will recoup roughly 66 percent of that in added home value.”
9. Set the stage – Yes, this is the final curtain–at least you want to do everything that you CAN to make it so! Prepare your home as though this is a 3rd showing for the buyer who you just KNOW is going to bring you an Offer! Appraisers tell you that they don’t ‘look’ at tidy vs. untidy but, it’s human nature to have a better ‘feeling’ about a home when it ‘shows’ well–this goes for appraisers as well!
10.. Have your agent present or on stand-by! - Be certain that your agent is available for the appraiser, should you or he have any questions while he is there. If your agent is not there for the appraisal, be sure to give the appraisal his/her business card so that he/she can phone your agent with any questions.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Kellie and Michael May decided to refinance their home in the New York suburbs, they wanted to take advantage of historically low interest rates.
New York or NC, these are some great tips!
©Debe Maxwell | Savvy + Company Real Estate | Charlotte Home Sellers | 10 Tips for an Accurate Appraisal