Most likely your FSBO home is going to have to have an appraisal done on it. Whether the buyer is a cash buyer or requires financing, you will have to show your property is worth the asking price.
There are numerous things that can alter and change the appraised value of your home. The last thing you want is for a series of small, negligible things to reduce the ‘value’ of your home to the point where it no longer seems like a good investment for the buyer.
Before going through an appraisal, it’s a good idea to have an inspection done on your home prior to putting it on the market. Again, a home inspection is something most buyers and financiers want to see. It tells them that a qualified person has looked at, tested, and validated that the various components of the home (electric, air/heating, plumbing, etc.) are in good working order. If there are items that need improvement, they will note that as well.
This gives you an opportunity to have repairs done on those things that might have an adverse effect on the appraised value. For example, during the winter time you may not normally run your AC. A home inspector would check the heating and AC so they might identify something you may not have noticed until summer.
This also helps speed up the purchasing process. When a buyer asks for an inspection, you’ve already got it done and ready to present instead of waiting up to a week for someone to come out and perform the inspection.
Once you have your inspection and decide to fix a few things, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Keep a running total of the repairs that were done after inspection, including before and after pictures (if applicable). Keep all receipts to show that the work was actually done. Make sure you also have a copy of the contractor’s license number or other required licenses.
- If the work was done yourself, make sure it is something that is normally within the realm of everyday basic knowledge handy-work like touching up paint, tightening dripping plumbing fixtures, etc.. Anything that would, in good reason, require a licensed professional then by all means hire a licensed professional.
Some general tips on making your property more presentable to the appraiser might include items like:
- Having all of your homeowner’s association paperwork and CC&R’s.
- Remove general clutter from your home and make sure all access points to the attic, basement, etc. are clear.
- Prepare your lawn by giving it a fresh cut and groom the shrubbery.
- Have your list of repairs from the inspection ready in case they have questions.
- Be prepared by having a general idea of what your home is worth. There are many websites and free resources that can help determine this. Make sure your estimation of your home’s worth is idealistic and in line with the surrounding area.
By the time the home is ready for an appraisal, it should already be in the same shape you plan on presenting it to buyers. In most states, the buyer, or their lender, pay for the appraisal. You may not have access to the information when all is said and done.