I am proud to serve the Outer Banks, helping people buy and sell their homes. Having grown up on the Outer Banks, I absolutely love everything this little stretch of barrier islands has to offer. Perhaps you are looking to sell your home and make a move here. Or perhaps, you are looking to move to another beautiful location (if such a thing exists). Either way, you are going to have to have a home appraisal to determine the value of your house. This can be stressful; a house is generally the biggest investment a person will make, after all. Luckily, there are a lot of steps that you can take to ensure that you get the highest home appraisal value possible.

Get the Small Repairs and Renovations Done

Many people opt for the major bathroom and kitchen renovations before a home appraisal to raise their house’s value. We well thought out renovation can certainly add value to a home, but it will be at a major upfront cost of both money and time, which many people may not have. Instead, focus on the repairs and smaller renovations to promote the features you already have. All systems and appliances should be serviced and functioning, there is no outstanding damage, and then if there is time and money at the end, consider renovations. My renovations company, Outer Banks Renovations & Construction (OBRC) can help you get your check-list accomplished!

Increase Curb Appeal

There is a reason that we recommended to postpone expensive indoor renovations, and that is because there is a much more lucrative renovation opportunity: exterior renovations. The Appraisal Institute itself states that even a well maintained landscaping can increase a home’s appraisal value. That means you don’t even necessarily have to hire a contractor, a green thumb and some elbow grease may be all you need. Strategically placed container gardens, mulch flower beds, outdoor lighting systems, stage patios, porches, can all help your house bring in more money, and most of it can be done yourself.

Keep a Record of Everything

It is not enough to just spend time and money making improvement in your home, you also need to keep detailed records of all of it. That means you should save and catalogue every receipt for a purchase related to the renovations (you can save space if you digitize them for storage. In addition to receipts make sure to store any permits necessary for renovations made. By spending time on organizing this information ahead of time, you mitigate any chances of your appraiser missing a valuable addition that will raise the price of your house.

Know Your Comps

Comps, or comparable OBX home sales that have been sold in your area, are the number one determinant of the value of a home. If you take the time to teach yourself about them, as well as familiarize yourself with the comps in your area, you can avoid any costly mistakes your appraiser might make. If this sounds confusing, check out this guide to know your comps. If you think you’ve been low-balled on an appraisal, you need to bring it to the attention of your appraiser immediately. Otherwise, you could be stuck in a long and drawn out appeals process only to find that the correction will not even be made.

To get the information you need, visit your local county offices and request information on properties that have sold within the last six months. Look for anomalies that an appraiser might miss; is one comparable house selling lower than the rest? Do some research, and make sure there isn’t more to it. Was it a tear down, did it have flood damage? These are the types of things your appraiser could miss, which would lower the value of your home.

As an Outer Banks Realtor, I am proud to help people sell and buy homes on the Outer Banks. I love the OBX and all it has to offer, and I love letting others in on the beauty too. Search all the Outer Banks homes for sale to get a feel for the types of homes on the market. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.