Appraisal 101: Understanding Property Values

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How Can You Improve Your Property's Value Before Sale Without Spending Much?

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If you're planning to put your home on the market soon, you may spend a great deal of time looking at online listings of comparable properties in your area to determine a reasonable asking price for your home. For those who aren't satisfied with this number, you may imagine the only way to significantly improve the value of your home is to invest in extensive remodeling or landscaping that may not even recoup the funds you spend. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to increase your appraisal amount and help you sell your home quickly for a price even higher than you anticipated. Read on to learn more about some inexpensive (or even free) changes you can make that may improve both your curb value and home value. 

Paint your interior

Although you may assume a new homeowner will want to make his or her own cosmetic changes, like paint, it's almost always worthwhile to invest in some new paint for your home's main rooms before listing or showing it. Few buyers have the ability or desire to look past stained or peeling paint to see a room's potential, and even if they eventually plan to repaint it themselves, providing them with a clean and neutral canvas can often be the tipping point you'll need to get an offer. 

Even high-quality paint and supplies are inexpensive in the grand scheme of real estate expenses, and you may be able to save additional money by searching for neutrals in the "oops" bin at your local paint or hardware store. 

Invest in low-maintenance landscaping (or hardscaping)

In many parts of the country hit hard by drought, a lush green lawn can be seen as more of a liability than a benefit. Between the water and fertilizing treatments necessary to keep your lawn in good shape and the storage and maintenance of the lawnmower you'll need to cut it, you may find that your large lawn is actually a turnoff for some prospective buyers.

To the extent you're able to replace a portion of your grass with low-maintenance landscaping or hardscaping (like boulders or decorative rocks), you'll be able to broaden your home's appeal while lowering lawn maintenance costs for the next owner. 

Take care of any ultra-dated features

If your home has popcorn ceilings, orange shag carpet, or any other relics from decades gone by, removing and updating these features can do wonders to improve your home's appraisal value and help it appeal to a wider range of prospective buyers.

While some retro features -- like pink and teal bathroom tile or built-in bookshelves -- are making a comeback in certain areas, others are unlikely to add much to your home's value and may cause it to sit on the market much longer. 

In many cases, you'll be able to make these fixes yourself -- from scraping off your popcorn ceilings with a sharp knife or razor blade to ripping up your shag carpeting and installing a low-pile carpet or even wood-grained laminate. 

For more information, contact a company like East Coastal Appraisal Services.