Have you heard any good stories about home appraisals?
You rarely hear about a property getting appraised for a lot more than the sales price — appraisers have a knack for appraising the value just above the contracted sales price.
It’s more likely that you’ll hear the story about the home appraisal that came in too low — always more drama with this one.
As home prices in Lake Travis continue to rise and buyer demand peaks with the summer buying season right around the corner, you may have concerns about your home appraising when you list it for sale.
There’s a likely chance that your home will end up with a sales price higher than your asking price when your home receives multiple offers. Not a bad problem, except when recent comparable sales are not high enough to support the deal.
Part of the problem is that appraisals are based on recent sales data — a lagging indicator of property values. When values are rising quickly, an appraiser will have a hard time finding the comparables to support the price that was offered on your home. You’re left having to renegotiate to keep the deal moving forward and arrive at the closing table. It’s not the reward you deserve for working so hard and doing everything right — that is why the buyer was willing to pay top dollar for your home.
Be proactive to get the highest appraisal possible
Here are some ways you — or better yet, your real estate agent — can make sure your home will appraise:
Request the lender sends a local appraiser: If that doesn’t happen, make sure and supply the appraiser with as much information as you can about the quality of the neighborhood and the area.
Provide your own comparables: Work with your real estate agent and make a list of the homes that best compare to yours. Provide the appraiser with at least three solid comparable properties that have sold in your neighborhood recently.
List all your home improvements: Make a detailed list of all the improvements that have been completed and the cost. Include receipts and before and after photos if possible.
Talk up the area: Put together information on all the neighborhood amenities, such as pools, parks, hiking and biking trails. Include any restaurants, shopping centers, and other businesses that are close by.
Act as if the appraiser is a potential buyer: Get your home ready to show. First impressions are huge so start with the yard. Have your lawn and landscaping in top shape. Clean up the inside by removing clutter. Make sure your home smells nice. And do not follow the appraiser around! Grab a seat and let them do the job.
This same information applies if you’re looking to refinance. Be proactive and lessen your odds of receiving a low appraisal. You’ll save yourself from the headaches of trying to get the appraisal changed or renegotiating that great offer.
Check out the Lake Travis Real Estate section for more information on historic landmarks, area neighborhoods, buying and selling tips, and local market conditions.