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Ready to sell your home? Here's how you can prepare for your home's appraisal.

Are you thinking about getting your home appraised? Maybe you're thinking of listing it and want to know how much your home is worth. Or, maybe someone is interested in buying your home and wants an appraisal to take to a lender — in which case, you want your home shipshape, so the lender will know your home is worth what you're asking for it.

While you don't necessarily need to get an appraisal before you list your home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you might want to learn a bit about how to prepare for an appraisal before you go for the real deal.

Here are some of the things our real estate agents recommend you do when prepping for an appraisal.

  1. Declutter and clean.
    Chances are, you can go through your house and find plenty to get rid of, either by donating to charity, selling on Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark, or just sending stuff out to the recycle pile. Once you've cleared some clutter, you're ready to clean. Go room by room, cleaning walls, fixtures, baseboards, doorknobs, light switch covers, and blinds (shades or drapes). We presume you're going to stage the home with a minimum of your possessions, so do make sure whatever stays in the home is free of dust and is sparkling clean.

  2. Spruce up the landscape.
    Beyond a good mowing, edging, and trimming of shrubbery, perform a painstaking cleanup of the property. Take out dead trees; have ragged, broken limbs trimmed and hauled away; rake up and bag dead leaves. Cut back weeds or perennial stalks left from previous years. Check the driveways and walkways; sweep them clean and get rid of any trash. Add mulch in flowerbeds and around trees and shrubs so it will look neat. Remove toys or any clutter; you can leave lawn furniture but it should be clean and in good repair.

  3. Repair damage.
    Walk around your home and assess everything with a critical eye. Repair cracks in walls, broken floor tiles, stained carpet, leaks in the ceiling, or damaged gutters. Your home should be in good repair prior to the appraisal.

  4. Safety equipment should be working properly.
    This includes fire and smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and home security alarms. Smoke and CO alarms are inexpensive to install but if you don't have a home security system, it may be a bit of an investment. However, you can probably find a reasonably priced (under $1000) system with sensors and cameras that will boost your appraisal.

  5. Replace dated materials.
    Some materials in your home may look like yesteryear's trend. Replace flooring with snazzy laminate or tile; redo the countertop with natural stone, granite, or quartz. Aim for a modern look with neutral, sedate materials.

  6. Make a list of improvements you've done.
    List any improvements you've made to your home so you can inform your appraiser. Include such redos and additions as gutters, siding, new roof, new appliances, and the like. Improvements will have a positive impact on your appraisal.

A word of caution here: most appraisals are for a buyer's lender. The lender will want to know if the home is worth the asking price. Chances are, that lender will not be interested in an appraisal done by the seller, who of course has every reason to get the highest appraisal possible. So don't dash out and get an appraisal with the notion that a potential buyer will heed the results. In fact, it's usually the buyer who orders the appraisal, and it is likely to come farther along in the negotiations.

Want to know more about appraisals? Contact us today.

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