Boosting property values allows home sellers to maximize the returns on their investment. Real estate appraisers determine the market value of a home by examining the condition of the property and compare it with similar houses in the area. The appraisal allows the homeowner the opportunity to boost the value of the home if it isn’t up the standard.
The tips below will increase your chances of getting good results on an appraisal.
- Don’t rely on costly improvements to bump up value
Major improvements such as kitchen remodeling or adding an additional bathroom may seem like a good idea, but it rarely pays off.
For instance, on average, an extensive kitchen remodel requires at least over $65,000. But returns are usually less than 60% of that amount.
To put it plainly, bigger and more expensive efforts don’t necessarily translate to value.
That’s not to say that major improvements should be avoided. If adding a deck or revamping an existing room will enhance the quality of life of the homeowners, then the question of whether or not they improve the value of the home becomes a non-issue. Just list down every improvement made for the appraiser’s easy reference.
Learn more about Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report here.
- Make key preparations before the appraiser arrives
When done properly beforehand, minor repairs and updates can make a big difference on the final appraisal value.
Fixing leaky faucets, repainting older areas of the home, getting rid of general rubbish, as well as decluttering can leave a favorable impression on the appraiser. If a home is pleasing to the senses, it sends a good signal that the homeowner has taken good care of the house, in addition to taking steps to meet objective safety and living standards.
- Fix up the driveway
A driveway that’s cracked and oil-stained is not only detrimental to your vehicle, it can also leave a dent on your appraisal value.
The condition of your driveway will be apparent as soon as the appraiser walks onto your property. It will also stand in stark contrast if the neighbor’s driveways are in better shape than yours.
Make sure you don’t neglect this area of your property. The state of your driveway is easy to overlook because you see it all the time. Or, you don’t see it often enough if you have access to the main house from your garage. Make it a point to check the upkeep of your driveway, especially if it’s made of asphalt, brick, or gravel.
- Spot masonry issues before they cause problems
Worn out mortar presents structural problems that real estate appraisers will be sure to take note of. Water can seep through fissures and cause long-term damage to the entire structure.
Check for cracks in the walls or foundation as a precaution, especially if you have an older house.
Repointing, which is the process of replacing heavily worn out mortar, is more cost effective than a full brickwork repair. Hiring a mason will set you back from $400 to $600 only on average.
- Make the space look bigger and roomier
The original idea of an open floor plan was to connect the living room to the kitchen to another room or two (a family room, for example) without walls, doors, or dividers. An open floor plan improved flow and encouraged interactions among occupants and guests.
While the pandemic has given rise to more closed-in spaces to accommodate work-from-home arrangements as well as remote learning needs, it’s still important to make the home look spacious.
For instance, you can reposition furniture so they don’t stand in the way of freer movement in high-traffic areas. You can also allow more natural light in by changing window treatments. Or paint the walls a brighter neutral like a cool gray or a more brilliant shade of beige.
- Pay attention to outbuildings
The home’s interior and curb appeal may appear immaculate but if other structures within the property are not up to par, an appraiser will note them down.
Whether it’s a shed or a garage, these structures can play a factor in increasing property value. However, don’t overspend on repairing these buildings. It may be more cost-effective to demolish some of these structures, especially if they haven’t been used in a long time.
Alternatively, if you see them as additional amenities that interested buyers will be drawn to, then it may be worthwhile to spruce them up a bit.
Bonus tip: Get advice from a real estate professional
If you intend to sell your house in the near future, hiring a real estate agent is the best decision you can make. A real estate agent will look after your best interests – including advising you on how to get your home ready for sale.
Manel Sousou and her team will assist you every step of the way if you live in San Francisco’s East Bay communities of Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon.
Their proven track record for success and 32 years of real estate experience mean they have key insights on average home listing prices in Dublin, CA and the specific improvements that buyers are looking for.