Increase your chances of a high appraisal

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Many homeowners choose to get their properties appraised before selling a home. Having an appraisal can help sellers determine how to price their homes to avoid asking for too much or too little. Appraisers examine a variety of factors when valuing a home, including market conditions, the surrounding neighborhood and the home itself.

So when it comes to increasing their chances of getting a higher appraisal, there are several small actions homeowners can take to make their homes more appealing.

Clean it up

Appraisers are only human, and pulling up to a home with a messy exterior and interior may have a negative effect on the appraisal. Homeowners should follow the same rules for an appraisal as they would for an open house. First, individuals should focus on curb appeal. Cleaning up leaves and debris, keeping the yard and bushes trimmed and planting a flower bed can a big difference. In addition, many experts encourage homeowners to keep their yards and flower beds similar to other homes in the area to avoid standing out too much, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

When it comes to the inside of the home, it's important to de-clutter each room and clean it from top to bottom. But more importantly, homeowners should make any necessary repairs before the appraisal to boost its value.

Upgrade the property

Making small upgrades can also have a positive effect on an appraisal. Homeowners should first focus on the basics, such as adding a fresh coat of paint to both the interior and exterior of the home. Minor upgrades to fixtures, cabinets and lights are also recommended. For homeowners who plan on remodeling their kitchens and bathrooms before selling their homes, it may be a better idea to complete the project before the appraisal as well. This will raise their chances of getting a higher value amount and allow them to price their homes more competitively after the repairs.

In many cases, homes with finished basements and attics may also receive a higher appraisal because these spaces can also serve as bedrooms, offices and multi-purpose rooms.

Before the appraisal, homeowners who are working with a real estate agent may want to ask him or her to come view the home, the SF Chronicle recommends. Real estate agents are trained to pinpoint areas that may need more work and are likely to be overlooked by homeowners.