3 Ways To Prepare For Your California Home Appraisal

Jul 23, 2020Buyers, Sellers


If you are considering selling your home there are quite a few steps you will need to take. One of the first steps is having your California home appraised. 

An appraisal is essentially an assessment of your house and it’s property value, in comparison to the other properties in your area. 

It is important to be aware of this process and understand the home appraisal timeline so you can properly prepare.

San Benito Realty knows the importance of being prepared for your California home appraisal and today we want to give you some suggestions to make sure you’re ready when your appraiser comes! 

1. Have An Early Appraisal 

Your home appraisal is a big deciding factor on how much the bank will be willing to lend your potential home  buyer.

Because of this, an appraisal is often paid for by the buyer at about the same time the home inspection is being done.

However, if you have any concerns about what your home is worth you may want to hire your own appraiser. The appraiser can come and give you notes on areas to work on that will help improve your home’s value before it is put on the market.

This early appraisal puts you ahead of the game because you will be able to make those critical changes to increase the value of your home. 

Plus, if you decide not to make any changes, the early appraisal gives you a good idea of how much you will be able to price your home for.

2. Remember The $500 Rule

Many people have not heard of the $500 rule, but it is incredibly helpful to be aware of when preparing for your appraisal. 

According to Maximum Exposure Real Estate,

“The $500 example is the idea that appraisers tend to measure the value of a home in increments of $500. 

If you have some minor repairs that need to be done and you leave them for the appraiser to find, he or she is likely to knock some value off of your home.

Things like broken doors, non-functional locks, faulty light switches, leaky faucets, and other minor issues are cheap enough to repair and will help you avoid lost value and increased scrutiny on the part of the appraiser.

Just think about how quickly each issue can add up when multiplied by $500, and you will find it easy to appreciate the value of making minor repairs now instead of later.

Again, this falls under the category of condition which an appraiser will be grading while visiting the property. Blatantly obvious repairs can affect the value of your home.”

Keeping the $500 rule in mind while preparing for your home appraisal can make a big difference in what the appraiser deems your home is worth.

3. Make Strategic Changes That Will Have The Biggest Impact

First and foremost, you should begin by going around your home with a critical eye and note any flaws you see. If you have already had an early appraisal done, this part will be much easier.

After critically assessing your home you can begin making improvements in preparation for your California home appraisal. 

  • Take Care Of Any Quick Fixes

Start with any quick fixes such as adding a fresh coat of paint or fixing the loud creak in the door. 

These simple things can add up. Quickly fixing those smaller issues (that every home has) can truly help your home appraise for more. 

  • Ensure That Everything Is Working Properly

Be certain that things around your house are working well. Now is the time to fix that leaking faucet or the broken appliance. 

A well functioning home is worth a lot more, and taking the time to make sure things work properly can make a big difference.

  • Be Sure Your Safety Features Are Up To Date

Check your fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are up to date and working right. 

If you have any other safety features in your home such as an alarm system, ensure that it is also up to date. 

  • Deep Clean Like Never Before

Having your home sparkling clean will surely impress a home appraiser! 

Everyone prefers a clean and tidy home. So do yourself and the appraiser a favor and make sure you give your home a thorough cleaning before the appraiser comes.

  • Keep In Mind Your Curbside Appeal

Homes that have nice landscaping may appraise for more because the curbside appeal of a property is a factor. 

Planting some flowers or adding some outdoor decor can increase your curbside appeal and help you in your appraisal process. 

Things To Remember Regarding The Appraisal Process

  • Don’t Hover

Give the appraiser space to do their job, especially during the pandemic. 

You may even want to consider stepping out of the home for a while. This way you can keep a safe social distance while the appraisal is being completed.

  • Be Prepared With The Proper Paperwork

Talk to the bank and/or the appraiser beforehand and ask if there is any paperwork you need to have. Then have all of the paperwork available when the appraiser comes.

  • Be Patient- Appraisals Can Take A While

The home appraisal timeline varies for different properties. The physical appraisal of your home may take anywhere for 15 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the size of your land and property. 

However, the report that the appraiser has to write up that assesses your home’s value may take a week or more to come back to you, so be patient!

For more guidance on your California home appraisal click here to contact San Benito Realty today!