4 ways to boost home value for higher selling price guide, House sales tips, Buy property advice
4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Appraised Value for a Higher Selling Price
4 Nov 2022
While home prices are expected to stabilize over the next several months, thanks to increasing inventory and rising interest rates, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty in the market. That uncertainty may only increase if the U.S. economy continues to slide toward a recession. For example, more available inventory means more comps on the market that might work to support a higher valuation. But if those comps are seeing declining values, then your home’s value will also likely drop.
For most homeowners, the property’s appraised value will do the lion’s share of the work in supporting a healthy sales price. While many of the factors considered in an appraisal may be outside a homeowner’s control, there are things you can do to help make the most of the process. Follow these four tips to increase your home’s appraised value before a sale.
- Gather All Maintenance Documentation
Have you been taking proper care of your home? If so, pull together any and all documentation to reflect that care and maintenance. Contracts, receipts and specs for renovation work, landscaping projects, HVAC maintenance, painting and more help prove you were a responsible homeowner who took good care of the property. Not being able to produce that kind of documentation can result in a lower appraised value. Remember, buyers value peace of mind.
- Ask for a Comparative Market Analysis
One of the key factors that help set a home’s appraised value is the presence of comps—that is, other properties that are similar to yours and in the same general area. Your realtor can pull together a quick list of other homes within a certain distance of yours (say, a one-mile radius) that match yours in fundamental ways, such as style of construction and age. This list, with its pricing for those other homes, will help you and your agent establish your own listing price but it can also help support a healthy valuation from an appraiser.
3. Get an Appraisal Before You Even List Your Home
Talk to your realtor about whether it makes sense to conduct a pre-listing appraisal. In many cases, this is an unnecessary expense. For example, if your realtor knows of several comps in the area with strong valuations, a pre-listing appraisal won’t do much to move the needle upwards.
However, in other circumstances, it’s a great way to establish your home’s value. If you’ve got a unique property with unusual and valuable features, that means your agent won’t find a lot of properties nearby that are actually comparable to yours, and hence a comparative market analysis won’t do a lot of good. But a pre-listing appraisal can help you spotlight those unique features and boost your appraised value as a result.
4. Itemize Recent Improvements
Have you recently repaired or replaced your roof? Did the driveway get repaved? Was the HVAC system replaced within the last year or so? Home improvements such as these can help increase your home’s appraised value. But if you want to make sure you get the maximum value bump from all that hard work, keep records and receipts so you can show them to the appraiser. “The roof is pretty new” has a much different impact than “we replaced the roof eight months ago, using XYZ Roofing Contractors, and here’s the receipt and itemized listing of materials used.” The more documentation and detail you can provide, the more significant the boost to your home’s appraised value can be.
Change What You Can, Accept the Rest
Keep in mind that there’s only so much you can do to affect your home’s appraised value. At some point, external factors that are outside your control have a significant impact, too. A sluggish local market, a market that’s turning over too quickly, or a home that was overly improved compared to other homes in the neighborhood can all work to depress an appraised value. Do what you can and what makes sense within your budget, then work to negotiate the best sale price you can with your buyer.
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