Homeowners: Success Means “Selling” Your Home Twice
If you are attempting to sell your home, you know that you will have to do your best to make your home more appealing to prospective buyers. You may need to make some needed repairs, spruce up the interior and exterior, or perhaps declutter your home in order to obtain the highest possible selling price and attract a buyer.
But, did you know that you will also have to “sell” your home a second time--to an appraiser?
All of the steps you took to make your home more appealing to prospective buyers are just as necessary to have your home valued at the highest possible price by an appraiser. Why is this so important?
Lending institutions rely on the appraisal to determine whether or not they are making a sound financial decision when loaning money on a particular home. If a home is contracted to sell at $400,000, but is appraised at only $375,000, this can result in the sale falling through. At this point, the buyers have some options:
1. Rescind their offer.
Most sales contracts contain a contingency clause ensuring the home appraises at or above the agreed purchase price, which means buyers have an “out” if the house appraises for less than the contracted sales price.
2. Ask the sellers to lower their sales price to appraised value.
If the sellers agree to lower their sales price to the appraised value, the sale can proceed without any delays -- but it also means less money to the sellers at closing.
3. Pay the difference.
If the home appraises for less than the contracted sales price, the buyers can bring additional funds out of pocket to closing--if they truly want to purchase the home without further delays or negotiations.
4. Challenge the appraisal.
If the appraised value is lower than expected, buyers or sellers can challenge the appraisal. Lending institutions will occasionally order another appraisal--or thoroughly review the existing appraisal--if it appears that a mistake has been made.
To do all you can to ensure your home appraises (and sells) at the highest possible price, Landmark Realty Services recommends these four steps:
1. Make Your Home Clean and Neat, Inside and Out
Clean your home and make it sparkle. This includes applying fresh paint and cleaning floors or carpets. Declutter your home, mow your lawn, and trim bushes to make your home look more appealing inside and out.
2.Make Necessary Repairs
Make any needed repairs to ensure your appraised value is not reduced. It’s safe to assume that every needed repair noted by an appraiser will reduce your home’s value by $500, if not more. That broken tile and floor board might cost less than $100 to fix both yourself, but not repairing them could cost you $1,000 in appraised value!
3. Update Your Home
Outdated appliances, flooring, and cabinets can often reduce your home’s value by thousands. Do all you can (within financial reason) to make your home appear up-to-date so it will appraise for the highest possible value. Such things as new linoleum or fresh paint on cabinets can give your home a fresh, updated feel at very little cost.
4. Learn about Your Neighborhood
Your appraiser may not be aware of recent changes to your neighborhood such as a new elementary school being built or a major industry locating nearby. Learn all you can about your neighborhood--so you can inform the appraiser about recent community upgrades that could dramatically increase your home’s value.
5. Call Landmark Realty Services
Landmark Realty Services provides its clients with a market analysis to determine an appropriate sales price--one that will result in the quickest sale at the highest possible price.
We’re a family-owned real estate brokerage with three generations of experience you can trust and count on!
Call Landmark Realty Services today at 304-842-5298 to schedule an appointment with one of our real estate experts!