How to Avoid a Low Home Appraisal

A house needs to be sold three times when it is on the market. First it needs to be sold to other agents so they will want to show and sell the home. Second it needs to be sold to buyers and lastly to the appraiser. Even if the buyer is willing to pay a certain price for a home they usually need a mortgage. That means it is actually the bank who is buying the home. The bank wants to protect their investment so they do an appraisal. When the appraisal comes back low or as an under-appraisal deals can fall apart.

If you are a seller or a buyer you need to know how to protect yourself from short appraisals? Here are some suggestions from Bankrate.com for buyers and sellers.

If you’re a buyer:

— Tell your lender to find an appraiser who comes from your county, or perhaps a neighboring county.

— Request that the appraiser have a residential appraiser certification and a professional designation. Examples include the Appraisal Institute’s senior residential appraiser, or SRA, or member of the Appraisal Institute, or MAI, designations.

— Meet the appraiser when he or she inspects the home and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that might skew the comps.

“Many appraisers are just pulling up data out of MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or off the deed at the courthouse and not checking it out,” Sellers says. “Most good appraisers will appreciate the information.”

And yes, you can speak with your appraiser; the prohibition only applies to your lender.

If you’re a seller:

–·Get an appraisal before you list a home. Search for a qualified appraiser in your area on the Appraisal Institute website.

— Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home.

— Give a copy of your pre-listing appraisal to the buyer’s appraiser. The more professional appraisers will understand that you’re just trying to add more data and another perspective.

— Question a low appraisal. There’s always a chance the appraiser or a supervisor will take into account new or overlooked information.

Kitchen Remodel for Every Budget

Kitchens are often the hub of the home and when it comes time to put your home on the market it is often said that kitchens and baths sell homes. A kitchen remodel can be expensive and time consuming. There are things you can do to give your kitchen a new look without spending a lot of money or time. Here are some inexpensive tips to get your kitchen in tip top shape in no time.

-Upgrade your appliances
Updating or upgrading your appliances will give your kitchen a fresh new look. You can start by ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. If new appliances are in order you can find great deals at at discount stores. Many stores have scratch and dent appliances that may only have a small imperfection on the back of the appliance or in a place where no one would see it. This is a great way to save lots of money for more expensive appliances.

-Pretty it up with paint
New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. Choose a semigloss latex paint, which is easier to clean and holds up better in kitchens. Don’t forget to paint the trim too. Clean and wash all the walls and trim before painting. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surfaces properly.

-Get organized
Even if you have the newest cabinets and appliances a messy kitchen is never attractive. Keep clutter at bay with drawer organizer for utensils, pot racks and pull out trays for cabinets. If you need more room in your kitchen, utilize empty walls. Add open shelves with some neatly placed bowls for a great decorative and storage alternative

-Use the right lighting
Replace flood lights with a brighter and cleaner looking halogen bulbs. Install under cabinet lighting for a new look. Use decorative lights over the kitchen table or island to set the mood.
Older chandeliers can get an easy upgrade by placing small shades over the bulbs.

-Refurbish the cabinets
If your cabinets need a new look consider either refinishing them or giving them a lot of elbow grease. Cabinets easily build up with grease and dust. Use a cleaner with orange oil to get rid of the grime. Test a spot first before cleaning the whole kitchen. If the cabinets are worn, consider refinishing or repainting the doors and frames. Adding new drawer pulls, hinges and handles can also make a big impact.

-Fix the floor
An affordable way to have a do it yourself new floor is to install vinyl tiles. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and durable. At less than $2 per square foot, you can put a vinyl floor in just about any kitchen for $500.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to achieve big results. Most minor kitchen renovations will recoup at least 83% of the cost and may even add value to your home.

What Buyers Say They Want in a Home

What do buyers want in a home? Is it location? Is it size? Could it be an endless list of amenities ? According to a survey done by The National Association of Homebuilders, they want all of the above.

According to the survey, buyers say they want a home that is approximately 2,000 square feet. Unfortunately, only one-third of the current homes on the market have 2,000 or more square feet of livable space. Most homes are nearly 40 years old and don’t have many of the amenities buyers want.

So what is a seller to do? If your home is smaller than what most buyers want, play up on your homes good points. Here are some other features buyers want that could help overcome the objection to the homes smaller square footage.

Location: Buyers may consider a smaller home if it’s located in the best school district or in a great commuter location.

Possibilities: A smaller home may have potential for expansion, making the home suddenly more appealing.

Great space: The home may not have the square footage buyers want, so show off the space it does have. Remove any furniture that doesn’t complement the home, making the home seem spacious and uncluttered.

If your home is smaller than what many buyers want, emphasize the amenities that it does have. Help buyers see the potential in your home. Don’t let them rule it out just because its current condition doesn’t meet all of their needs.

 

 

Prepare Your Home to Sell

When it is time to sell your home you may have much work to do before the sign is placed on the front lawn. If you would like to sell your home for more money or in less time you will need to prepare your home to sell.

One way to sell your home for more money in less time is to stage your home. Statistics show that home staging is credited with selling 95 percent of homes within 35 days or less.

Here are some tips to get your home ready for the market:

Prepare your home to sell to the most likely buyer. The average buyer nationally is 32, while the average seller is 57.  Remove items in the home that may be out dated and add in more modern items that appeal to a younger buyer.

Start at the front door. The front door is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make a good impression. Spruce up the landscaping, wash the front door and clean up the trim around the door. Make the entry neat and welcoming.

Clear out the clutter. A good rule of thumb is to remove about one third of your belongings. Pay special attention to removing extra pieces of furniture, like ottomans, bookcases, and decorative pieces.

Depersonalize the home by removing all photos, memorabilia and other personal items.  This will help the buyer envision the home as their own, picturing their personal items around the house rather than yours.

Clean the home very thoroughly. Dust under the furniture, clean the grout and all the other places that may not receive everyday upkeep. “

Freshen up the paint and neutralize your wall colors. It is best to stick with white, cream or pale earth tones.