- Home appraisals are based on recent sales prices of comparable properties. And in rising price markets, those sales prices might not be high enough to support new home sale prices. Here are some ways sellers can improve their home appraisal.
- Make sure the appraiser knows the neighborhood. Sellers can request that the lender send a local appraiser; if that still doesn’t happen, owners should supply as much information as possible about the quality of the neighborhood.
- Provide your own comparables. Sellers should provide the appraiser with at least three solid and well-priced comparable properties. This will save the appraiser some work, and ensure that he or she is getting price information from homes that really are similar to the one being appraised.
- Document home improvement projects. Sellers should provide before and after photos, along with a well-defined spreadsheet of what was spent on each renovation, which should persuade an appraiser to turn in a number that far exceeds what he or she first called out. It’s important to highlight all-important structural improvements to electrical systems, heating and cooling systems – which are harder to see, but can dramatically boost an appraisal. Showing receipts also may be helpful.