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A Guide on Preparing Your Home for an Appraisal

A house appraiser goes over a house inspection.

Before selling your home, you’ll need to get a home appraisal, whether you’re selling it online, FSBO, or through a real estate agent. A professional home appraisal determines the actual value of your home based on factors such as its location, the housing market, the condition of your home, and more. Here’s how to prepare your home for a home appraisal. 

How To Prepare for a Home Appraisal

It’s important to differentiate between a home inspection and a home appraisal. The former is a professional inspection that looks for faults in your home, such as leaky faucets, an old HVAC system that needs replacing, or hidden termite infestation. That way, the buyer knows which upgrades and repairs they will need to make.

A home appraisal, on the other hand, focuses on market analysis and determining the value of your home. Appraisers look for different things, including necessary repairs, but only because they will impact the property value. If the buyer has to make costly home improvements, the seller should price the home lower. 

They also go beyond that and look at comparable homes in the area, the number of bedrooms, the total square footage of the house, and more to issue their final appraisal report. The buyer usually requests a home appraisal to ensure your listed sale price is reasonable. 

Research the Marketplace

It’s a good idea to do your research first to know your home’s value. Homeowners who research the marketplace have the highest chance of the appraised value matching their original listing value. 

Going online and checking listing sites like Zillow and Trulia is a great way to get a better idea of the prices of homes in your area. Make sure to check similar homes to determine your home’s market value. You can also use a tool like Zillow Zestimate to check the value of your home, but you can’t know for sure until you are aware of the various repairs you need to do. 

Therefore, consider hiring a professional home inspector to look at your home and make a checklist of things you should fix before your official home appraisal. 

Fix Any Cosmetic Repairs Needed

To avoid a low appraisal, it’s vital to improve the overall home look, starting with the home’s exterior. Curb appeal plays a significant role in the value of a home, so get a landscaping company to mow your lawn, plant bushes, and flowers around your home, and add mulch before the appraiser’s visit. 

These small things show the appraiser and potential buyers that you have been taking care of the home. Chipped countertops, leaky toilets, and faulty gutters show that you haven’t been maintaining the home. 

A man goes performs a home inspection for a house appraisal.

Consider Fixing Major Repairs

The advantage of fixing cosmetic repairs is that they don’t usually cost that much but can make a big difference in the final valuation of your home. Thus, their return on investment makes them well worth it. 

However, cosmetic repairs only go so far if your home requires significant restorations. For example, there’s no way a fresh coat of paint will make up for foundational damage or burst pipes. 

On the flip side, significant repairs typically cost a lot more than cosmetic repairs, easily running you tens of thousands of dollars. Thus, you have to evaluate your financial situation and determine whether they’re worth doing. 

If you decide that they’re not, you might consider selling to cash home buyers in Wisconsin. Unlike traditional home buyers, cash buyers are typically willing to buy homes as-is. A cash buyer or home flipper who wants to fix up a house for profit won’t mind taking on the cost of significant repairs as long as they can flip the house for a profit later. 

Consider Renovations on Your House

In addition to cosmetic fixes and major repairs, you can invest in other renovations. For example, if you have an unfinished basement, finishing it so that it can serve as an extra hangout spot for the family will significantly increase your home’s value. You can even add a guest room there. 

You can finish the attic and turn it into an extra bedroom, or you can remodel your kitchen and make it look more modern. There are a lot of things you can do to improve your home’s value. You can even add a whole new section to your home.

There are additional ways to make your home unique. For example, you can turn a part of your basement into a home cinema with seats, a big screen or projector area, and blackout windows. Alternatively, you can create a small home gym by buying a treadmill and essential weight-lifting equipment. 

If the house comes with a home gym or cinema, it will be more attractive to potential buyers. 

Other renovations include installing bigger windows or a smart home alarm system. 

As you can see, the cost to sell a house in WI can be very high once you consider all the repairs and renovations you’ll need to do. The cost only increases when you factor in the real estate agent commission. 

That’s why many home sellers opt to sell to cash buyers instead. That way, they don’t have to invest in repairs upfront, nor do they have to pay an agent commission. 

If you want to sell a house fast in Appleton, cash buyers should be your first choice. Organizing even minor cosmetic repair can take a while. Forget about the money you’ll need for them – you’ll also need time. If you want to avoid that headache and get the home off your hand, you can sell it quickly to a cash buyer. 

That’s why cash sales are so attractive to people who need cash quickly or have to relocate to a new city for an urgent job assignment. You can close in just a few weeks without spending time and effort on repairs and renovations. 

Clean Your Home

Before the appraiser comes around, ensure your home is clean and spotless. A standard cleaning won’t do. It’s worth hiring someone to do a deep cleaning. It’s more expensive and time-intensive than regular cleaning, but it will make your home look nicer. 

Instead of just decluttering your home, mopping the floor, and wiping down surfaces, a deep cleaning focuses on hard-to-reach spots. That can include high corners with spiderwebs. It also focuses on removing gunk, grime, and dirt from cracks and crevices under your cabinets, behind your toilet, and in your basement. 

You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference a deep cleaning can make in how your house looks. A sparkling and clean home is an attractive one. 

Ensure the Home Is Light and Bright

Also, don’t underestimate the value of having a bright home full of light. A dark home without sunlight is gloomy and depressing. 

If the appraisal takes place during the day, open all the windows to let in as much sunlight as possible. A good trick is to schedule the appraisal when the sun shines through the main windows in your living room, kitchen, or master bedroom. That will depend on which way the windows face. That way, you’ll give off the best first impression possible. 

What if the appraisal is after dark? Invest in some bright lightbulbs. Daylight bulbs work best as they emulate the sun’s natural light. Using daylight bulbs is also a clever idea if you have a home that doesn’t receive a lot of natural light, either due to a lack of windows or because there is a structure blocking it. 

Another way to make your home cheery is to buy some plants and put them on the balcony or window ledges. A bit of greenery makes your home a brighter, happier, and more peaceful place. 

Show the Value of the Space in Your Home

Finally, show the value of the space in your home by furnishing your home smartly. For example, you can turn an empty room into a home office or guest room. If you don’t have money to buy new furniture, hire an interior designer to draw up various home plans and show them to the appraiser. That can help influence their final valuation. 

Sometimes, if your home is cluttered, it might not be immediately apparent how much free space you actually have. That’s why decluttering your home and organizing it is so important.


A home appraisal is something that every homeowner who plans to sell their home has to do. It helps to set the proper market value and also gives the owner the opportunity to improve the house to get the most money possible.

No matter what kind of sale you’re planning to do (FSBO or with a realtor) an appraisal is nothing to squander at. 

If you decide you want to sell your house as fast as possible, remember we buy homes Oshkosh homeowners need to sell, and we offer cash for them. Our process is straightforward and quick. Start by filling out the online form on our website or calling us at +1-(920)-215-4201. 

We don’t charge commissions like real estate agents, and we buy houses as-is, whether it’s an inherited home or it suffered significant damage that you can’t afford to repair. 

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