Ask Your Appraiser

December 30th, 2019 1:01 PM

10 Ways to Boost Your Home's Appraisal Value

When it comes time to sell or refinance your home, getting a high home appraisal cost is crucial. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your home's value hits maximum dollar.

1. Clear away clutter

Although clutter is inevitable with a busy family, it can also lead the appraiser to question if the homeowner is capable of maintaining the entire home. Some quick decluttering tips:

  • Box and store excess items in your home
  • Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathroom especially. If what's sitting on the counter is frequently used, put it away in a cupboard so that your counters are free of anything that isn't decorative.
  • If all else fails, or you don't have time to properly clean, shove your clutter into boxes and briefly store it in your car or storage unit. 

2. Clean the house

While this seems like an obvious step, many homeowners are understandably busy with jobs and family concerns and overlook the fact that a clean home is a desirable home. 

3. Make an investment

  • Paint the interior a neutral color. For the price of a few paint cans and elbow grease, you can add real, substantial value to a home.
  • Get rid of vinyl flooring. Replace it with ceramic tile, wood, or even laminate flooring.
  • Update your countertops. Laminate countertops should be replaced with ceramic tile or granite.

4. Reseed and patch the lawn

Investing $100 in grass seed to reseed, or at least patch bare spots, in your lawn can really pay off when it comes to appraising your home.

5. Patch sidewalks and driveways

Few things in life are certain, but if you see a small crack in your home's sidewalk or driveway, it will only get worse if left unattended. Ready-to-use sealant for patching cracks in concrete is sold in tubes (about $5 for a 10-ounce tube) and applied with a simple caulking gun, while asphalt repair products are even less expensive.

6. Upgrade your mailbox

Whether it's a roadside mailbox or one mounted by the door, the mailbox is one of the first things visitors to your home notice. Shop carefully and $100 could buy an attractive new mailbox and perhaps even a new post to mount it on. You could also just invest in some fresh paint for an easy and affordable spruce up. Plant a perennial, like ornamental grass or a climbing vine, near your rehabbed mailbox for added appeal. 

7. Power wash decks and patios 

Buying a quality power washer to pressure hose decks, patios and other outdoor surfaces is expensive. But for about $50, you can rent a power washer for a day from a home improvement store and scrub down everything that needs washing.

8. Paint your shutters 

  • Clean your shutters with soapy water. If you need a ladder, position it where appropriate. Scrub all surfaces that need painting; dirt and dust will prevent your paint from adhering properly.

  • Place old newspapers under each shutter and around your doors.

  • Use the painters tape to cover the house around the shutter to protect against accidents.

  • Get your buckets ready and put your vinyl gloves on. Pour primer into the first bucket.

  • Paint at the top of the shutter and work your way down. Make sure to get in between the slats. Use light pressure to eliminate brush strokes.

  • Once your primer dries, repeat the steps for your paint in the second bucket.

  • Some colors require two coats to achieve a richer shade. Be sure to let each coat dry before you start on the next coat.

9. Add solar landscaping lights

Solar landscape lights are a cheaper, greener, and easier alternative than having a complicated lighting system installed in your yard. Simply place the lights around your sidewalk, let them drink in the sunshine for power and enjoy your newly lit pathway at night.

10. Freshen up the front door 

Consider repainting the door in a contrasting color that really pops, polishing or replacing worn hardware and perhaps springing for a new set of house numbers.

As you decide what changes to make, keep an eye out for maintenance problems, such as torn window screens, dripping faucets, running toilets, missing trim and broken door handles. These should be fixed prior to the appraiser's arrival.

Appraisals By Michael is a leading full-service appraisal firm with extensive knowledge of the real estate valuation process. We specialize in numerous types of appraisal services, including property (commercial and residential), bankruptcy, divorce, immigration, relocation, and estate matters throughout metro Atlanta's $477 billion real estate market. With 20 years of experience in the real estate market, our appraisers work to provide excellent valuation and consulting services to homeowners, financial institutions, law firms, and accounting firms. Our state-of-the-art appraisal methods allow us to provide customized, detailed reports within 1 to 2 business days, helping to simplify your appraisal experience with accuracy and expertise.

For a full list of services, please visit our Services page. For a list of our coverage areas, please visit our Coverage Area page.

Interested in writing a guest article to appear on our blog? Contact us for details.

Posted in:Value Awareness and tagged: appraisalvalueDIY
Posted by Anne-Marie Boring on December 30th, 2019 1:01 PMLeave a Comment

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March 9th, 2017 10:51 AM

Which kitchen renovations can increase my home’s value?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Appraisals by Michael is how much value would upgrading the kitchen and bathroom add to a home. If you are selling your home, you may want to consider renovations such as this. Some may think that renovating a home that you are about to sell is a waste of time, energy and money. Think again, making updates to your kitchen can increase marketability and add thousands to your home’s value.  

Now, we understand that a complete kitchen remodeling may not be in the budget. But it may not be necessary. Take the example from the video below, changing your appliances may be the upgrade your kitchen needs to be elevated to the next level. Cabinets may be secondary:



Performing small, low cost renovations to your kitchen such as backsplash, paint and hardware changes are starting points. However, a kitchen is only as good as the appliances in it. Studies have shown that updated appliances can increase your home’s value by thousands. Upgrading your appliance doesn’t mean you have to fork out $10k on a new commercial-grade range or a sub-zero french door refrigerator. Upgrading your kitchen for the purpose of selling your home is to give the prospective home buyers the quality, functionality, and aesthetics they are looking for without breaking the bank.

Keep in mind that when home buyers see upgraded appliances, they see one less thing they have to do upon buying. Home owners want less work and more bang for their buck.

Appraisals By Michael can assist you with all your appraisal needs such as Pre-listing, Divorce, Tax Assessments, etc. Get in touch with us today to answer any question and for a free quote. 

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Posted by Anne-Marie Boring on March 9th, 2017 10:51 AMLeave a Comment

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