The home inspection and the home appraisal are undoubtedly the two most nerve-wracking events of the home sale. Either of them can completely derail a deal.
Unless, of course, you prepare for them. Many home sellers obtain a pre-sale home inspection to get an idea of what they may be on the hook for as far as repairs are concerned.
Although the appraiser isn’t concerned with cosmetic issues, the perception of a well-maintained home can lead to a higher appraisal.
That ball is completely in your court. So, let’s take a look at some tips to ensure that the first impression of your home is amazing. It all starts with what the appraiser sees from the curb.
Get your landscaping spiffed up
Our favorite landscaper gave us a tip for this blog post: start at the top of your landscape and work your way down. With that as a guide, start your curb appeal project with tree trimming.
Dying, broken and bare branches need to come off (unless the tree is dormant, of course).
Next, move on to the gutters and windows. Yes, we get that window cleaning isn’t ‘landscaping,’ but in keeping with the advice we mentioned earlier, if you don’t take care of these items now, you’ll take a chance of smashing bedding plants and scattering mulch if you put it off for later.
Get rid of the debris in the gutters, such as leaves and twigs. Run some water through them while you’re at it.
Next, give the outside of the windows a good cleaning, wipe cobwebs from the front porch, clean the porch light cover and the doormat.
Next, assess the rest of your front yard. Get rid of and replace any plants that didn’t make it through the heat of summer. Trim shrubs and hedges and rake garden beds.
Finally, add a fresh layer of mulch to the beds.
Work on the little things
While few people consciously notice the little things you do, they give an overall perception of a well-maintained home. Consider the following for the exterior of your home:
Pressure wash your driveway
This is an easy DIY project but there are professionals you can hire to do it for you.
Since the process involves the use of chemicals, the latter may be preferable to some. Prefer to DIY the project? Watch this youtube.com video for tips.
Add pops of color to the walkway and the front porch
Flowers and plants with colorful foliage are ideal for the walkway while potted plants and flowers can get the job done on the front porch.
Go shopping. Here is your list:
- House numbers – Big and bold is the theme here. Find ideas online at home-designing.com, pinterest.com and hgtv.com.
- Welcome mat – Check out the selection at westelm.com, ikea.com and walmart.com.
- Front door light fixture – It’s doubtful that the appraiser will be at your home in the evening, but if your front porch light fixture is shabby in the daylight, he or she will have a negative perception before even stepping inside.
Learn how to choose the right front porch light fixture for your home at build.com. Then, go shopping!
Mailbox – If yours is free-standing, curbside, and has seen better days, buy a new one. Or, clean and paint the one you have.
Sure, it sounds like a lot of work, but if you prepared the home for potential buyers, getting it ready for the appraiser should just be a matter of cleaning up what nature has brought in and purchasing (or DIYing) a few items.
Here’s to a sky-high appraisal!