What Sellers Can Do To Add Appraisal Value To Their Homes

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lizette Realty - Richmond KY 205403

repaint door

What Sellers Can Do To Add Appraisal Value To Their Homes

I was talking today to an appraiser about adding value to a home for an appraisal. I had planned to use it as a topic on the Welcome Home Show that I taped today. I decide to go ahead and share the ideas with my newsletter clients and blog subscribers.  

If you have the best house in the subdivision don't upgrade inside. If your home is of less of lesser value to the neighbor's homes it will add value.

Add square footage extensions like extra bathroom, bedroom, family room....basements don't count for much. 1st floor and above floors can add value of $65 - $85 per sq ft.

Add hardwood, tile, crown molding, concrete or asphalt driveway or professional finishing inside.

In kitchens - new surfaces: Cabinets(re-paint), countertops, sinks, range tops, built in ovens, flooring. Repaint the walls.

Bathrooms - New Tile floor, double vanity(higher level in master), garden or whirlpool tub, , separate tile shower, toilet, Re-paint walls

Other additions that add value: porch, deck, fireplace, garage, carport or patio.

The condition of your home will add value if it looks well taken care of inside and out.

Buyers are really liking garage hanging storage wall systems even better than jazzed up kitchens, formal dining or big backyard! Who would have thought this?

Buyers decide whether to get out of their car based on the outside appearance of your home.

Take the time to wash windows, trim bushes, repaint the front door, mailbox and pull weeds. It tells a lot about how you care for your property. These homes all appraise well. 


Lizette Fitzpatrick - Baby Boomer Real Estate Relocation Specialist with Prudential Don Foster in Richmond, Kentucky.

Rated number #1 featured Kentucky Realtor®  on Activerain.com and Localism.com. Publisher/Author for the only Central Kentucky email newsletter on local real estate listings and sold properties, Kentucky relocation, local events, homeowner information and fun! For more information on Lizette, Kentucky Horse Farms, Prudential Don Foster, Madison County, Fayette County, Richmond or Lexington, Kentucky click on Lizette.us.

See for yourself what Lizette's extraordinary clients have to say about their Kentucky real estate experience.

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 Copyright © 2008 By Lizette Fitzpatrick, All Rights Reserved..*What Sellers Can Do To Add Appraisal Value To Their Homes*



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Rich Ferretti 08/21/2008 11:52 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 08/22/2008 11:36 AM
welcome home show
appraisal value

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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Lots of good tips here.  I always remind my clients not to improve their home for their neighborhood unless they simply want to enjoy that improvement --e.g. in ground pools, hot tubs etc.  Appraisers are telling me they are giving those types of things very little value .. especially in today's market.

Aug 22, 2008 01:21 AM #31
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Smart advice from an expereinced agent!  You are right on the money!

Aug 22, 2008 02:15 AM #32
Judy Peterson
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox&Roach Realtors - Tredyffrin, PA
"Superb Service, Superb Results"

Very good points.  I once saw a Town Home with Travertine Marble in the MBA, needless to say it brought very little return on the dolllar, but the Sellers loved it for their own enjoyment.

Aug 22, 2008 03:01 AM #33
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

I don't believe many of those things like tile and type of counter tops really add appraisal value.  Sure it adds to homeowner value in terms of buyers and sellers value.  But to a bank and appraiser little updates like garage organizers add little or no value.  The additions and subtractions on a appraisers sheet are usually things like sq footage, number of bathrooms, bedrooms, how many car garage, finished or unfinished basement, quality of construction, condition, actual age, heating/cooling, porch/patio/deck, energy efficiency items, functional utility.

Now days if an appraiser would state that this house is worth more because it has tile over carpet or new paint versus a house that needs paint will raise scrunity with lenders.  They will give value additions to a very superior house will lots of updates but one room with crown molding most likely won't make the appraiser additions and subtractions. 

Aug 22, 2008 03:37 AM #34
Howard Sanders
Dockside Realty Ltd - Pender Island, BC
Pender Island Real Estate

Russ has a good point about differentiating between appraisal value and homeowner value.  There is a difference between the two.  It all depends on the motivation of the seller, and if they want the house to sell, it better be in turn-key condition.  Most buyers are just not interested in doing any fixes themselves.

Aug 22, 2008 03:44 AM #35
Tom Horn
Thomas Horn, Real Estate Appraiser - Alabaster, AL
Appraising The American Dream

Great stuff Lizette!  People have always asked me what they can do to help their home appraise for more so I wrote a blog post myself.

It's always important to remember though, that location is the most IMPORTANT factor affecting a homes value.  Your improvements/renovations need to conform to the area (location) you are in.  Some of the improvements you mention (such as garage storage systems) may be more popular in some locations over others; its not an across the board thing. 

An exaggerated example of this would be building a pool in a neighborhood where no one else has one and where the property values are so low it would not be practical.  You can do it and you might enjoy it but you will probably not get the most out of your investment.  When the homeowner that built the home in the above example goes to sell it, his potential buyers will be reduced because not everybody wants a pool and because it is in a neighborhood of lower value, (and probably lower income levels) not everybody may be able to pay for the expense of keeping up the pool.  This example is rather exaggerated, but I hope you get the idea.  All improvements should conform to the area to get the most return on your investment (higher appraised value).  The cosmetic improvements such as painting, crown molding, and keeping the home in tip top shape always give you the most bank for your buck.

Aug 22, 2008 04:05 AM #36
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Pam - Thanks for stopping by! Glad I could help.

Michael- You are sooo right. Nice houses sell and neglected ones don't.

Marcia - If you come up with other ideas add them here. Thanks!

Joan - Yes, It's that way here too. Not too many people have pools. The above ground ones don't even add any value.

Jim- You are so sweet! Thanks for popping in tpo see me.

Judy - I guess the seller should install anything that will bring them enjoyment. ..but keep in mind selling in the future.

Michael - Thanks for the info.

Russ - Most of those finishing improvements just impress buyers not appraisers. Square footage still is the best route.

Howard- You are right. Most buyers really want the house to be in move in condition.

Tom- Thanks for all the good information. Could you please edit out the link to your post? It's one of our rules here not to hijack other members posts. I don't want to delete the whole thing.



Aug 22, 2008 05:05 AM #37
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Lizette:  The first comment is a bit confusing to me....though I think I understand where you're going here.  May be a less confusing way to phrase it.  Good points for sellers!

Aug 22, 2008 05:09 AM #38
Tom Horn
Thomas Horn, Real Estate Appraiser - Alabaster, AL
Appraising The American Dream


Sorry about the hijacking.  I removed the link (I didn't even know that wasn't allowed).

Aug 22, 2008 05:58 AM #39
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

This is a solid list Lizette.  Very useful.

Aug 22, 2008 09:25 AM #40
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick

It is hard to explain to a seller why they will not get dollar for dollar for their upgrades.   And if they have over improved they will be really disappointed with the appraisal value.

Aug 22, 2008 09:30 AM #41
Julianna Hind
eXp Realty - Tacoma, WA
REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA

Well qualified advise for home sellers! In the Seattle area, it is interesting the "picks" that sellers make to improve their homes while sometimes ignoring the most important ones. Lists like these help.

Aug 22, 2008 10:26 AM #42
Christina Ethridge
The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group - Coeur d'Alene, ID

I like the list you've compiled.  Sellers want to know what inexpensive things will add value to their property, true value, not just perceived value.

Aug 23, 2008 12:25 AM #43
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

Lizette, great list and a wonderful topic.  Very useful to sellers and to home owners that are just trying to add value to their home for their present enjoyment and future sales. 

Aug 23, 2008 03:08 AM #44
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

This is a great list.  It never ceases to amaze me at how underestimated decluttering, cleaning, fresh paint and routine maintenance pays off.  Nearly every staging consultation we do highlights these points -- curb appeal and first impressions matter not only with buyers but appraiser and sellers can do so many things affordably to make improvements

Aug 23, 2008 05:24 AM #45
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Tom - Thanks! I loved all the information you had to share. Come back and comment anytime.

Chris - Thanks for stopping by to comment.

John - Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

DeAndrea - Yes, how true. And even worse if their upgrades are not good ones that a buyer will pay for.

Juliana - So right. Sometimes it's good to give sellers a list like this so you don't have to tell them.

Christina - Thanks for stoppping by my post. I've seen house after house sell because it is neat as a pin, with immaculate paint and decor and attention to detail.

Irina - I just love it when you pop in! Hope you are doing well!

Margaret - You are right on the money. Simple stuff we wish all our sellers could do.


Aug 23, 2008 09:33 AM #46
Christina Williams. REALTOR® TN property search & local insights
First Realty Company - Crossville, TN

Thanks for advice Liz... you keep it simple but very effective.

Aug 23, 2008 11:13 AM #47
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

Great post - Thanks for sharing with us!

Aug 23, 2008 10:41 PM #48
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Christina - Simple is how I like it! Thanks for commenting!

Norma - Thanks for reading my blog!

Aug 24, 2008 12:11 PM #49
Cindy Lin
Staged4more Home Staging & Designs // EcoJoe - South San Francisco, CA

That's great tips. This is something everyone can use and easy to follow.

Aug 24, 2008 03:14 PM #50
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Lizette Fitzpatrick

Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes
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