How to Get the Most Favorable Appraisal

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Your Question: How Can I Make Sure I Get the Most Favorable Appraisal Possible?

Professor Tate Answers: 


When homeowners decide to make renovations to their property, they need to figure out where to get the finances they need to pay for the renovations. One common thing homeowners will do is tap into their home’s equity by refinancing their mortgage. Another thing they may choose to do is apply for a home equity loan.


Should you decide to apply for a home equity loan, there are certain steps that will need to be taken before you’re approved. One such step is to assess how much your home is worth by means of an Appraisal. An Appraisal compares your home to comparable properties in your neighborhood. The Appraiser will base his report on recent prices of comparable properties, among other factors. This report will then give your bank the information it needs to determine whether or not your home is worth the loan amount.


You should have some information ready to give to the Appraiser to help the process.


For example, have you made any major changes, renovations, or upgrades to the home since it was last appraised, such as new siding or a new roof? Don’t forget about smaller upgrades too, such as extra insulation. Have you participated in any energy-saving programs? Have you built any additions, added more square footage to the home? Give your Appraiser background information on the home.


You can also do some things to possibly increase the Appraisal amount.


  • Keep your home clean and well-maintained.
  • Consider your home’s curb appeal. If it’s lacking, spruce it up!
  • Remove clutter and clean the interior of your home. This can make your home appear larger and possibly increase the value.
  • A study sponsored by the National Association of Realtors shows that wood floors, landscaping, and an enclosed garage can lead to a better Appraisal outcome. So you may want to consider investing some money into your home before the Appraisal.



Prior to the Appraiser’s arrival, do the following:


  • Turn the lights on throughout your home.
  • Ensure that the heating and cooling system is working at full capacity.
  • Keep your pets locked away.
  • Make sure access to the basement and attic is clear.


The Appraiser will typically begin with a physical inspection, both inside and out, of your home. He will probably spend about 30 minutes inside. Try to give him his space. Following the Appraiser around the whole time may cause him to wonder if you might be trying to hide something wrong with the home that you don’t want him to notice.


Your chances of a favorable appraisal are improved by providing necessary background information on your home and making sure your property is well-maintained, clean and clutter-free!

You asked, now you know!

-Professor Reel S. Tate 

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