Prepare to Have Your House Appraised

Before obtaining the services of an appraiser to have your house appraised for the purposes of selling your own home, make sure they are licensed, experienced and knowledgeable in the area of property you want appraised. Also make sure they don’t skimp on data sources just to save money; a qualified house appraiser should use up to date sources to insure the appraisal will be as accurate as possible.

Make any necessary minor home improvements. This includes leaky faucets, missing door handles, missing kitchen cupboard and drawer knobs or handles, missing or damaged trim work, broken light fixtures or light switches, cracked windows, torn screens, etc.

It would be worth while to install smoke detectors on all floors, especially near bedrooms. Repaint surfaces that haven’t been painted since 1978 – since many paints before at time were contaminated with lead. Also make sure all stairways, inside and out, have sturdy handrails. These measures increase the safety status of your home.

If carpet visibly needs cleaning, acquire the services of a professional carpet cleaner. Steam/hot water is best for the most through cleaning possible. Unless carpet is Berber or sculptured, have the professional carpet cleaner groom the carpet after cleaning so that fibers in the traffic area dry in an upright position, enhancing carpet’s appearance.

When setting up an appointment to have your house appraised, ask the appraiser if there are certain things that should be done before they arrive.

When getting ready to have your house appraised, have the following documents ready:

1.) Any written property agreements. This might include a maintenance agreement for shared property, such as a drive way, hedge divider, etc.

2.) Your home inspection report, which should be done before acquiring the services of a house appraiser.

3.) Any other important reports that relate to your property, such as water/soil analysis, reports for termites, septic systems, etc.

4.) A “brag sheet” that lists all notable home improvements, including the when the improvement was made and cost. Include such home improvements as interior, exterior painting, paneling, siding, the addition of central air conditioning, a new roof or roof repairs, remodeling of rooms, finishing off a basement or attic, permanent lighting, light fixtures, etc. Also include building permit confirmation, if applicable.

5.) Any other relevant information, such as a purchase agreement, if a sale is pending.

When the house appraiser arrives:

1.) Be sure all areas of the home are accessible. This also means the attic, basement, crawl spaces, and garage.

2.) Make sure the house is clutter free for maximum visual effect.

3.) Make sure house has no mal odor, and has a pleasant fragrance. Before the house appraiser leaves, ask when you can expect a copy of the appraisal report for your real estate listing.

A word about FSBO advertisements

More and more, homeowners are taking the initiative and selling their own home. Because many buyers prefer working directly with the home owner instead of going through a real estate agent, advertisements that include FSBO (for sale by owner) are very appealing.

Homeowners who do their research and become knowledgeable about the process of selling their own home can be more flexible about asking price, while realizing more money in pocket.

By using multi venues for advertising their real estate, home owners stand a greater chance of making a quick sale. Advertising FSBO online can be especially effective. Not only can it be more cost effective than other types of advertising, but the advertisement is available to potential home buyers world-wide; 7-days a week, 24-hours a day.

There is another benefit to FSBO advertising online. At Virtual Real Estate Listings, at, for instance, a modest one-time fee provides a professionally written, full page advertisement, complete with interior and exterior pictures; information on the surrounding area where the property is located and contact information is also provided. And, the advertisement remains posted until the property sells!

A considerable amount of money can be saved when advertising through newspaper classifieds, photo classifieds, and FSBO publication advertisements. How? By purchasing much smaller space for smaller ads in these type venues, and including the URL to the online advertisement.

A descriptive ad in newspapers and FSBO publications isn’t necessary, because all information about the property for sale is already online, waiting to be discovered!

© 2006 Lori S. Anton for Virtual Real Estate Listings

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