|This article originally appeared on CNBC.com; we’re providing the high – level tips here. The full article can be read at http://www.cnbc.com/id/100400466
8 Ways to Improve a Home Appraisal
MAKE SURE THE APPRAISER KNOWS THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Is the appraiser from within a 10-mile radius of the property? Also, have as much comparable information about the quality of the neighborhood available for the appraiser.
PROVIDE YOUR OWN COMPARABLES
Provide your appraiser with at least three solid and well-priced comparable properties.
KNOW WHAT ADDS THE MOST VALUE
Start with the most impactful minor improvements to increase the value of the home.
DOCUMENT THE FIX-UPS
"Before-and-after photos, along with a well-defined spreadsheet of what was spent on each renovation, should persuade an appraiser to turn in a number that far exceeds what he or she first called out." Don’t forget to highlight all-important structural improvements to electrical systems, heating, and cooling systems – which are harder to see, but can dramatically boost an appraisal. Show receipts.
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN UPSTAIRS AND DOWNSTAIRS
"Improvements and additions made below grade, such as a finished basement, do not add to the overall square footage of your house," says John Walsh, president of Total Mortgage Services in New York. "So, they don’t add anywhere near as much value as improvements made above grade."
Even jaded appraisers can be swayed by a good-looking yard. "Tree trimming, cleaning up, a few flowers in the flower beds and paint touch up can all help the appraisal," says Agnes Huff, a real estate investor based in Los Angeles.
GIVE THE APPRAISER SOME SPACE
Don’t follow the appraiser around like a puppy. "I can’t tell you how many homeowners or listing agents follow me around in my personal space during the inspection," he says. "It’s a major red flag there is a problem with the home."