Preparing for appraisals.

Preparing for appraisals.

  • Posted by Member Services
  • On October 24, 2021

If you are in the rental housing industry you already know, but for those trying or thinking about getting into the industry, you should know, that apprasials are a thing that happen…often. often enough that weve decided to help you get ready for them!

What does an appraiser do?

First, define what appraisers do; you can’t know how to prepare if you don’t see what’s being done.

Appraiser examines your property’s interior and exterior, takes pictures, and takes notes about the property’s condition.

They do this and use comparative estimates to recently sold homes in your neighbourhood to decipher the approximate value of your home.

Finally, they create a report, which typically includes:

  • Your home’s size and condition,
  • A record of any serious structural issues,
  • Notes about recent home renovations and the surrounding area and
  • Photographs, sketches and maps of your property.

Why do appraisals matter?

Home inspections and appraisal reports are also critical in the buying and selling process, and define the price of your home plus the price you should be renting your property for! 

But how does one for a home appraisal?

  • If you’ve done an appraisal before us, that as a checklist:
    • Look for issues that lowered your home’s value in the past and address those problems.
  • Be prepared:
    • Have all essential documents, including  a land survey that verifies property size,
    •  proof of your home’s most recent sale price and 
    • A list of recent improvements complete with receipts.
  • Tidy up and keep the path clear, clear clutter and contain pets to make the inspection more manageable for the appraiser, one of the worst things you can do is have the appraiser jumping over beams and dirt or have sparky tripping them. This will only likely cause them to stay longer and find more issues.
  • Don’t just clean to clean, clean to decorate, landscaping and decor while not the appraiser is looking at, are a non-distracting conversation starter and assist with the overlook of the property. So grab the good china! Clean your heart out. Wash down the walls and shampoo the carpet. Clear out the clutter: power wash decks, driveways and the exterior of your home. A clean home looks newer and more attractive to appraisers and buyers alike.
  • Make like a tree and spruce up, make minor repairs. Small fixes, such as touching up chipped paint or replacing a broken doorknob, can also help add to a home’s value. Repaint the walls and hang new curtains. Install shiny new doorknobs or faucets. Small things don’t add a lot in an appraisal, but they add up—and they also give the entire home the appearance of being modern and updated.
  • Here it’s the outside that matters! Unless you can magically get the appraiser inside by looking, you need to clear up your exterior, as first impressions matter. Make sure to clear debris from your yard, trim the hedges, and clean the gutters to make your home more attractive. Mow your grass and trim your trees and shrubbery. Consider having dead trees removed, if possible, before your appraisal. Add some colour with flowers, and in the winter, be sure to clear all ice and snow from walkways and driveways.

Now to the important stuff:

  • Be sure to have any safety equipment installed and working correctly. 
    •  carbon monoxide alarms, 
    • Home security alarms.
    • These include smoke alarms (don’t have a beeping notice, distracting!)
  • You are your properties own worst critic.
    • Walk around your home before the appraisal with a critical eye. Look for any damage that could decrease your home’s value, including loose floorboards, chipped or missing tiles, leaky faucets; when all these things are up to date, the house looks better.
  • It’s okay to brag here; inform your home appraiser of any home improvements you have done on your home.
    •  Be sure to tell your appraiser about any improvements you’ve made in your home. 
    • New additions, replaced HVAC units, siding, gutters, a new roof, remodelled kitchens, and updated bathrooms will all positively reflect on your appraisal.
    • And if you have receipts (something we advocate you always keep), show them the tickets!
    • Are there new schools, parks, highway ramps, stores or other public amenities that have been added since you bought the house? Point these out to your appraiser. They may not be familiar with the area, and extras such as these can add even more value to your home. Be sure to tell the appraiser about them.
  • Compare!
    • Do some research on other homes in the neighbourhood. What is the value of homes similar to yours in your community? What about the sales prices of homes sold in your area in recent months? What problems may have been encountered during their appraisals? 
    • Many of these items are public records, but feel free to speak with your neighbours about it if you’re comfortable. They may be able to help you hit some common problems off at the pass if they’ve recently undergone an appraisal.

Work on improving these things and you’ll for sure improve the experience and nerves during your appraisal!