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6 Powerful Strategies to Boost Refinance Appraisal Value

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

Are you thinking about refinancing your mortgage? The appraisal will be fundamental — with the following possible results:

  • Since lower equity is associated with higher risk, you may get a higher interest rate.

  • You could have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) if your equity is below 20 percent.

  • You may not even be able to refinance if your equity is sufficiently low.

Given the substantial weight of a refinance appraisal, prepare for the best outcome with the following strategies:

Strategy #1. Mention any ways you’ve improved your home.

Let the appraiser know about any major steps you have taken to improve the home, whether installing a deck or replacing the roof. While you should always point out improvements to an appraiser, it is typically not a good idea to make improvements as an effort to boost resale or appraisal value (see the “2020 Cost vs. Value Report” from Remodeling Magazine).

Strategy #2. Maximize curb appeal.

Clean up your yard. Pressure-wash the outside of your home and the driveway. Verify that none of your shingles, gutters, or siding boards are loose. Trim the trees and bushes. Mow the yard.

It is worth spending a weekend on this clean-up. After all, before the appraiser has even knocked on your door, they will probably be taking notes.

While investing in extensive landscaping will not pay off, former Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle noted that simple fixes such as adding mailbox numbers, sealing driveways, or repairing walkways can be impactful. It can also be powerful for first impressions to remove any dead bushes or trees.

Strategy #3. Be warm and present.

Be there to greet the appraiser. Friendly human interaction never hurts.

Strategy #4. Open and illuminate.

Open all the doors, and turn on the lights. These simple steps can make your home feel more welcoming too.

Strategy #5. Stage your home.

When the appraiser walks in the door, you want it to look its absolute best. Think like a home stager. Do you want the appraiser taking a photo of a cluttered desk or a sink full of dirty dishes?

Beyond simple decluttering, think about touching up the paint and making small repairs, advises professional stager Marie Graham.

Strategy #6. Prioritize their comfort as you prepare.

Allow your appraiser to feel comfortable. You do not want them to be hurried to leave. Mask any smells and contain any pets. As you declutter and clean, you are grooming your home and making it more attractive. You are also making it easier for them to complete their inspection.

Refinancing at the best rate

Are you refinancing? At Best Advantage Mortgage (BAM), we use our network of trustworthy lenders to get the lowest rate in your area. Apply now.


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