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Appraising your Home

How much is it worth?

Selling your house is usually quite a complex operation, and the first step is to have a home appraisal. You need to contact a real estate appraiser to visit your property and give you a home valuation. Most people invite more than one appraiser, as each appraisal is likely to be slightly different.

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Inspections and reports

Most realtors offer a free home appraisal service and will make an appointment to come and see your house. At the inspection, they thoroughly review all aspects of your home, including the structural foundation, and the interior decoration (such as colors of paint, and permanent fixtures such as lighting). The appraiser will discuss with you any legal issues that are pending such as boundary disputes, mortgage terms and any other liens on the house. They will then write a report on the house, and give you their estimate of the home valuation. If you ask more than one assessor to carry out this process you can compare reports, being sure that they have covered all the features of your property and comparing the weight they have given to the special features of your property in their real estate appraisal.

Add value to your home

This stage of home evaluation is really important, as it not only gives you a basic home valuation to work from, it allows you to see what each appraiser considers as important and value adding features of your home. You can then use this knowledge to stress the relevant features of your property, making sure that they are always displayed to their best advantage.

Selling your home is one of the most important financial transactions you make. You need all the information you can gather to make the right decisions.

The two b's

Bathrooms and bedrooms are very personal places and inevitably end up full of personal belongings. To make it attractive to a buyer they need to be scrupulously clean, tidy and impersonal- think of a hotel en suite bedroom. Tidy away make-up bottles and clothes paying particular attention to put away very personal items such as medicines, toenail clippers, and contraceptives.
  1. Get a face-lift: A bathroom can be given a simple face-lift by coordinating the colors in it. Dye all your towels and bathmats the same color. Be careful to strip the original dye first if they are not white.
  2. Unite color schemes: If your furniture doesn't quite match the room's color scheme use cushions to bring the two together. For example if your suite is brown and the rest of the scheme is green, make or buy some cushions that have a pattern that matches both of these.
  3. Re-paint: Paintwork can get grubby over the years, particularly around doorknobs and where people push the door shut. Wash down doors, including entrances to rooms.
  4. Add lighting: Atmospheric lighting such as two side lamps can often be cheaper to run as well as looking better than a main light.
  5. Invest in unique pieces: If you have a central light in a room consider changing the lampshade. Even if you don't have the budget for an antique French chandelier, there are plenty of good quality modern imitations.
  6. Clean up: Clutter can make a home look small and untidy. Make sure that everything has a 'home'. If it hasn't got a specific storage place, create one.
  7. Paint tiles: Tiling in kitchens and bathrooms can be expensive to replace. Tile paint is an economical and quick answer for a facelift.
  8. Match furniture: People tend to gather belongings over the years, and they don't always match so a room can seem 'disjointed'. Molded picture and mirror frames can all be made to match with a spray of paint. Antique gold looks particularly opulent, or plain black for a minimalist look.
  9. Arrange books: If you have adjustable bookshelves, arrange your shelves and books in order of height. This will create extra shelving space and looks much neater.
  10. Store clothes: Weed out your wardrobe of old, unfashionable, or unbearable clothes. Have a 'summer' and 'winter' collection. Keep one set for wearing this season and store the other set in suitcases until you need them when the season changes.
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