Get the Highest Appraisal


Appraisals: 7 Tips To Help You Get the Highest Appraisal Possible For Your Home

 Today, I’ll provide what every homeowner should do to ensure they get the highest appraisal possible when selling their home. 

How to Get the Highest Appraisal

 One common thread that runs through homeowners is that they typically think their home is the nicest in the development, according to Loreen Stuhr, veteran appraiser with Appraisers of Las Vegas. Stuhr goes on to say that the single most difficult challenge she faces in her business is trying to convince a homeowner otherwise.  And for buyers, it is not any better, as skillfully explained by Bill Gassett, in his article: “Reasons Why An Appraisal Comes in Low”[}: “It can be quite upsetting to find out that an appraiser thinks the home you want to buy is not worth what you thought it was. And a low appraisal can be more than just upsetting – unless you are a cash buyer, a low appraisal can make it impossible for you to purchase your dream home.” 

 Whether or not you own the nicest home on the block, when it comes time to refinance or sell it, getting the highesst house appraisal possible, is crucial. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to assure that you receive credit for all the ways you think your house is worth maximum dollars.

If your house is on the market, and you’ve taken the time to properly prepare it for the market, half the battle is won right there. If you think you have work to do in that area, here are a few “highest appraisal” suggestions: 

1. Improve Curb Appeal

 Although many homeowners are familiar with the term “curb appeal” as it applies to prospective buyers, many don’t realize that the home’s first impression is important to the appraiser as well. Landscape maintenance chores, such as clearing away debris, trimming trees and shrubs, spreading fresh mulch in the beds and greening up the lawn will all help to bring your home close to market value.

2.  Clear Away Clutter

 Although clutter may be evidence of a busy family, it can also lead an appraiser to question if the homeowner can maintain the entire home if they can’t even keep their countertops and other surfaces free of junk. 

 Some quick de-cluttering tips:  

  • Box up and store excess items in the home.
  • Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathroom. If what’s sitting on the counter is frequently used, hide it away in a cupboard so that your counters are free of anything that isn’t decorative.
  • If all else fails or you don’t have enough time to properly clean, shove your clutter into boxes and store it briefly in your car or storage unit.

 3. Clean the House

 While this seems like an obvious step, many homeowners are busy with jobs and family concerns and overlook the obvious fact that a clean home is a desirable home. 

 What if you don’t have time to clean your home before the appraiser comes by? You probably don’t have time to sell your home. Do it once, do it right! 

 4. Make an Investment

 If you have the funds to make updates to the home, Stuhr recommends the following:  

  • Paint the interior a neutral color. For the price of a few cans of paint and some elbow grease, you can actually add value to the home.
  • Get rid of vinyl flooring. Stuhr claims that vinyl flooring screams “dated!” and recommends replacing it with ceramic tile, wood or even laminate flooring.
  • Update countertops. Laminate countertops are “bottom rung,” according to Stuhr, and should be replaced with ceramic tile or, preferably, granite.

 As you tour your home deciding what changes to make, keep an eye out for maintenance problems such as torn window screens, dripping faucets, running toilets, missing trim and broken door handles. These should be fixed prior to the appraiser’s arrival or you will not likely get the highest appraisal possible. 


5. Compile an Information Packet

 The appraiser has access to several sources from which to pull information about your house and those that have recently sold. This information, while generally reliable, does sometimes include errors. To insure you get the highest appraisal possible, compile an information packet for the appraiser. Just a few, neatly typewritten pages in a folder will do the trick. Here are several items to include in the package: 

 Comparables – Similar Homes in Neighborhood 

 Although your appraiser has access to neighborhood sales information, it’s a good idea to supply him or her with any additional information you may have on why houses in your area sold for the prices they did. If your neighbor took a job out of state, and because he needed to relocate quickly he dropped the list price dramatically to get a sale, make note of that to the appraiser. 

6. Comparables: homes sold in one-mile radius over last six months.

 In fact, it’s a good idea to have your real estate agent print out the MLS sheet for every home sold within a one-mile radius of your home over the past six months. These homes qualify as the best comparable. Go over these printouts, making notes of anything you or your agent know about the sale that affected the price, and include those notes in the package. 

 “Brag” Sheet – Why Your Home Deserves a High Price 

 Sometimes the information available to an appraiser is in error and even one error can lower the value of your property significantly. Appraisers will refer to your brag sheet while preparing the appraisal, according to David Hesidenz, of David Hesidenz Appraisals in Butler, PA.  Here’s what to include on your brag sheet:   

  • Exact street address
  • Year built
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Add the square footage if you like, although the appraiser will measure the home.

7.  Make sure the appraiser knows about major home and/or property improvements by telling them!

 Then, list any major improvements to your property, the date they were performed and the cost. Include the name and phone number of the contractor who performed the work, if you have it. Some of what should be included on this list: 

  • New windows
  • New floors
  • New countertops
  • Finished basement
  • Replacement of the home’s major systems, such as heating and air-conditioning
  • Upgraded electric or plumbing
  • New roof
  • Room additions
  • Converted garage

 This package, if prepared properly, gives the appraiser accurate, detailed, firsthand information to refer to when compiling his or her report for the lender. 


 If you have any questions about how to get the highest appraisal possible. or any other real estate questions, then do not hesitate to send me an email at 

 Call me at (970) 217-3245 to find out how I can sell your home for more money, less hassle, and sell it faster. 

 Paul Martin Ross // Resident Realty // Phone: (970) 217-3245