Your home’s appraisal value can be mission-critical to achieving several different goals. Do you want to sell your Tampa home quickly? Are you planning to cancel your PMI (private mortgage insurance) in order to save some money? Maybe you’re getting ready to refinance in order to make some crucial home repairs or take care of other bills.
In each of these cases, you’ll want to secure an appraisal that maximizes your home’s value as much as possible. While it’s not possible to completely control your home’s appraisal value, certain factors are definitely within your control. Here are six ways you can increase your Tampa home’s appraised value.
Get an Idea of What Your Appraisal Value Might Be
Get a rough estimate or range of values for your home using free online tools, such as Chase’s calculator or HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator. These tools won’t yield a precise appraisal value, of course, but they should be able to give you a general idea of what to expect.
Understand What Goes Into an Appraisal Value
Appraisals can seem confusing and mysterious if you don’t understand the methodology behind them. It’s a good idea to learn what is and isn’t important for an appraisal so that you don’t spend time and money on things that won’t really make much of a difference.
For the most part, things that are easily changed—including most purely aesthetic choices, such as paint color and the age of your carpet—are ignored by professional appraisers. Instead, they’ll look at more permanent underlying characteristics, such as the age of your home and where it’s located.
In addition, appraisers take a close look at comparable listings, or comps. These are homes that are similar to yours in style, age, and location. By looking at what these comps are selling for, they can get a better idea of a range of values that may apply to your home and property. Housing trends can also play a part, including interest rates and general economic conditions. If inventory exceeds the number of purchasers, for example, then your home’s value may dip.
Get Caught up on Basic Home Maintenance Tasks
Leaky faucets, running toilets, tears in the linoleum, dents in the wall—all these things can detract from your home’s appraisal value. In some cases, repairs might seem cosmetic, but in others, a lack of maintenance can lead to serious problems down the line.
Start with a walk-through of your home from the front door to the back, taking a close objective look for any items that need to be updated or repaired. Prioritize tasks that are visible and repair those items first. Also crucial: any repairs to your home’s plumbing system, since leaks can quickly escalate and cause major damage, meaning that appraisers will give weight to those issues.
Modernize Any Outdated Fixtures
Do your outlet plates, light switch covers, faucets and drawer pulls look tired, not vintage? Consider updating them. In most cases, these updates won’t cost a lot but can really update the look of the home as well as its value, since newer fixtures are less likely to break or cause problems down the road.
By the way, if you’re updating your home for an appraisal in anticipation of a sale, you don’t need to go for the top-shelf versions. Do some price comparisons online, then look for a model that’s current but not ridiculously expensive. If you’re planning to sell your home, consider talking to a local real estate agent for their input on what to choose and prioritize.
Pay Attention to the HVAC System
In warm climates like the one that Tampa homeowners enjoy, HVAC systems are crucial. Make sure your air conditioner is running beautifully and efficiently. Schedule any overdue maintenance, and if it’s on its last legs, prioritize a replacement. Potential home buyers and appraisers alike will appreciate that.
Clean Up Your Curb Appeal
You never get a second chance to make a first impression and neither does your home. Clean up your property’s landscaping, mow the lawns, yank out any unsightly weeds or scraggly plants, and trim back overgrown tree branches and bushes. Then consider planting colorful seasonal plants in order to brighten up the overall look.
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