We are currently in the process of refinancing our home (yes, somehow I went from trying to convince Evan to buy a new house to him convincing me to refinance - How'd that happen? Sneaky husband!) Anyway, on Thursday morning we locked in a rate and no sooner did the ink dry on the application paperwork did I get a call from the appraiser wanting to schedule the visit to our house (initially, our lender told us that this could take two weeks so I was slightly shocked - but excited - to be getting this call so soon!) The appraiser said he was actually in the area on Friday, and could he come by at 1:00pm? YES! That being said, we had 24- hours to get our house ready to show him!
I started doing some research online on getting your house "appraisal ready", and HOLY COW, some of the websites I was reading had me freaking out a bit! Some of these sites were recommending you stage your home as if you were selling it and prospective buyers were walking through! They said the interior should be repainted to be PERFECT looking, that you should stage the house with fresh flowers and the smell of baked cookies, that lighting should be set to accent the mood, etc... All things that invigorate an emotional response from someone walking through!
Others said all of that was non-sense and a waste of time, that the appraiser would be at the house for 15-minutes and was really more concerned with the large scale upgrades that were done to the house, the square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
I fell somewhere in the middle. Seriously, what can you do in 24-hours that would drastically change the value of your home? Nothing! However, I still wanted to put our home's best foot forward! First, I made sure the house was completely picked up from top to bottom. Our house is normally pretty clean, but this involved Evan getting up at 5am before going to work and cleaning the dumping grounds that was our basement this summer!
This also involved touching up some paint throughout the first floor where we had moved some pictures around and there were decent sized holes that needed patching and painting over. I just didn't want anything to look like it was under construction or unfinished!
I also pulled together some "before" pictures of our kitchen and bathroom, and provided a summary of the work that we did with the dates and copies of the receipts.
Overall, I'm definitely glad I picked up/touched up the not-so-nice areas of the house, because the appraiser went through and took pictures of every single room. (I'm not sure if it will actually help inflate the number he comes back with, but at the same time I'm glad there weren't any times I felt like cringing when he was snapping photos and that is a good enough reason for me to have put in the work!)
Overall he was here for 12-minutes start to finish. He was definitely interested in the before photos I printed and in the projects we did and in the receipts, and I DO think this ultimately helped demonstrate the value of our house! (So SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS!!!) Additionally, I can tell you with 100% complete certainty he would not have cared if there were fresh flowers, cookies baking, or mood lighting going on in the space! Big difference between selling a home and wooing buyers and entertaining an appraiser - just so you are 100% clear!
So now let's keep our fingers and toes crossed that the number comes in close to what we are aiming for! We should find out in the next few days! I'll keep you posted!