Posts Tagged ‘Home inspectors’

How to Ensure Your Home is Appraised for Maximum Value

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

Are you refinancing your home? If you are, the lender will require an appraisal. Also, did you know an appraised value difference of even a couple thousand dollars can make or break your loan approval? So what steps can you take to ensure your home is appraised for maximum value without getting denied for a loan? Here are a few tips to help know what to expect from a home appraisal and make sure your home comes out on top.

Appraised for maximum value
Getting your Brooklyn home appraised for maximum value is important when you’re refinancing.

What is an Appraisal?

Opendoor.com defines a home appraisal as “the process by which a licensed appraiser conducts a thorough inspection of a property to assess its true worth (which isn’t always the same as the listing price). The appraiser will then compile all of their findings into a report and generate the home’s appraised value.

Make Sure Your Home is Appraised for Maximum Value

Most appraisers perform inspections by:

  • Comparing sales of houses in your neighborhood
  • Determining a sales price per square foot
  • Applying that sales price per square foot to the square footage of your home

The appraisal should equal or exceed the amount you request for your loan in order for the lender to approve it. When home values in your area fall, refinancing becomes more difficult, especially when you have only a small amount of equity in your home.

And since an experienced appraiser has inspected thousands of homes, it’s quite easy for them to assess your home’s amenities quickly. An interior inspection can take about 30 minutes or less. And that’s not a lot of time in a home nor is it much time to make a good first impression.

The appraiser typically drives giving the outside of the house a cursory inspection. They don’t ask to see the inside unless something looks questionable. So it’s a good idea to request a walk-through appraisal from the lender. A walk-through inspection gives you the opportunity to point out the upgrades or improvements made to your home that comparable homes in your neighborhood don’t have.

When an appraiser determines the worth of your home, they take a lot into account. Some of the factors they must take into account can’t be helped, like your home’s location, for example. But there are things you as a homeowner can do to make certain your home is appraised for maximum value. So it’s recommended that you prepare in advance of the appraiser’s visit.

1. Prepare a Packet

Appraisal documentation

Prepare a packet of information to hand the appraiser as they hurry out your door after they inspect your home. Include the basics about your home and anything that helps back up your refinance offer.

Some upgrades that can improve a home’s value include upgraded countertops and flooring, extensive trim carpentry or built-ins, and energy-efficienct upgrades to appliances, windows and insulation.


Fact sheet about your home:

  • Address
  • Year your home was built
  • Square footage
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Size of the lot

List of recent sales:

The appraiser has access to recent home sales. But there’s always a chance they may miss something. Make a list of:

  • Any for-sale-by-owner homes
  • Homes sold to a relative
  • Owners who sold quickly to move out of town

List of improvements and upgrades you’ve made to your home:

  • List improvements and their dates
  • Include contact information each contractor who worked on each improvement

2. Fix What’s Broken

The appraiser assigns an “effective age” based on your home’s condition and how well you’ve maintained it. For example, fix the following (and then some):

  • Cracked windows
  • Thread-bare carpet
  • Missing tiles in the shower
  • Torn vinyl flooring
  • Damaged doors
  • Cracked or mildewed caulk
  • Hairline cracks in drywall
  • Peeling or flaky paint, inside and outside your home
  • Evidence of water damage that has been repaired

You want the effective age assigned to your home to be low. A higher effective age results in lower value. So, make repairs to anything that ages your home in the eyes of the appraiser!

3. Clean Whatever Needs Cleaning

Most appraisers say a clean or dirty home bears nothing on its value. But if a clean home adds to the appearance of a well-maintained home, affects the appraiser’s overall opinion of your home, and makes a better impression, what harm can a good cleaning do? Play it safe and clean up the following really well:

  • Overgrown landscaping
  • Carpet stains
  • Marks on walls
  • Clutter, inside and outside
  • Loose and rotten boards on your fence

Will Your Home Be Appraised for Maximum Value?

Getting your home appraised for maximum value without getting denied for a loan to refinance is possible with some preparatory work. Some things impact your home’s value more than others do. But remember, the inspection process varies by appraiser. And everything you can do to ensure your home is appraised for maximum value and streamline the appraisal process is worth the effort when refinancing your home.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent and broker with over 30 years of experience, I can help you prepare your home to sell even during these challenging times.

Our office is completely shut down and committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].


Charles D'Alessandro

Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 1901

How to Navigate the Home Inspection Process

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Home inspection

Charles D’Alessandro can help you navigate the home inspection process calmly and with focus. He’s the best Brooklyn Real Estate has to offer!

I’m not going to sugar coat it. Selling our home has been a stressful experience. Not because our agent hasn’t done an excellent job keeping us calm and focused though. Selling our home for top dollar and closing on the appointed day have been the goal and what we have been working toward. We’ve kept our home cleaned, staged, and ready for showing at a moment’s notice, well, almost. Our bags (and dog) have been packed and on-the-ready by the front door since we listed this place last month. And each time we left home, we made sure there was no trace of us (or our dog) living here. Thankfully, our home sold quickly, in less than two weeks. And although a lot of the stress was relieved when it went under contract, it continued to be somewhat stressful. From the agent walk through to the buyer home inspection, many strangers walked through our home. Three inspectors/repair men came in one day! The selling process has been fairly smooth and most of the inspectors and repairmen have been easy to “work” with.

How do you look at the home inspection process? Do you look at this process with dread? Most do. They see inspectors as bad news investigators. If you view home inspections in such a way, I challenge you to look at them from a positive perspective instead. We worked hard to prepare our home for sale, but the buyer home inspections provided us with the opportunity to see what still needed to be repaired. We then used the money set aside for repairs on the original net sheet prepared by our agent. The buyer home inspection went well and required us to use only half of what we set aside! It wasn’t a bad experience at all!

What a Home Inspection Does for the Seller

The American Society of Home Inspectors states, “a home inspection can give [sellers] the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.” Home inspections also encourage smooth transactions and help sellers receive their asking price. But what if the home inspector finds major issues? Here are three tips to help you navigate the home inspection process.

3 Tips to Help Navigate the Home Inspection Process Positively

1. Work with your agent to be ready for inspection ahead of time.

Make sure your home and you are as ready for inspection as you can possibly be. As early in the selling process as you can, do a walk-through with your agent. Let them point out potential issues. Remember, they want your house to sell quickly and for top dollar, too! Ask, “Do you think I should fix that?” and be prepared to hear, “I would.” And when the home inspector walks through your home and reveals a few more flaws, don’t take it personally. Just appreciate that another pair of eyes are helping you sell your home.

2. Help your agent know everything there is to know about any issues your home may have before inspection day.

Ask your agent to let you know the date and time of the home inspection. It’s best if you aren’t present for the buyer home inspection. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to answer questions to explain any issues your home may have during the inspection, have your agent call you with questions they don’t already have the answers to.

3. Keep reminding yourself that the inspector is just doing their job.

When the time comes for the actual inspection to take place, remember, the home inspector is simply doing their job. A number of real estate deals fall through when buyers and sellers get tangled up in negative emotions about repairs. Your home is important to you, but taking the emotion out of the situation will benefit both you and the buyer. Stay focused on the bigger picture and your end goal: getting the best return on your investment and moving into a new home.

Finally …

Know this: the best laid plans can go awry. You can prepare for the home inspection in every possible way and still watch the deal fail. Thoroughly inform your agent and prepare yourself well. Let the inspector do their job. Be a model seller. Stay calm and focused on your end goal.

Hire Charles D’Alessandro. Contact him at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or send him an email at [email protected]sales.com. With over 30 years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, you can trust Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate to help you stay calm and focused through the sale of your home.