Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand the role of a home appraisal. In order for buyers to be approved for a mortgage, an appraisal must be done to confirm the sale price for the lender. For sellers, a good appraisal is imperative to ensure they receive the best price for the house.

Before we explain how to get the most out of your home appraisal, let’s first discuss what it is and why it’s important.

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is an unbiased assessment of a home’s value conducted by an impartial third party.

Lenders always require an appraisal before issuing a mortgage to protect their investment and ensure they aren’t doling out too much money to the buyer.

A home appraisal is also important to the buyer and seller as a lower than agreed-upon price could result in the buyer reopening price negotiations.

To determine the value of your property, appraisers assess the age and condition of your home–exterior and/or interior–, as well as its location and market data in the area.

The overall process can take up to 10 business days and on average costs between $300 and $500.

How to increase the appraisal value for your home

There are several ways you can maximize the appraisal value of your home:

Deep clean

Your house should be sparkling clean when an appraiser arrives. Ensure that the interior of your home is in tip-top shape, whether it be by polishing the floors, cleaning the carpets or tidying up the garage. This goes for the exterior too! Your front yard, porch, and back yard should look clean and tidy.

Point out home renovations

Don’t be afraid to point out major renovations to the appraiser, including when they were completed, by who and how much they cost.

Spruce it up

While you may initially think that splurging on home renovations might do wonders for your home appraisal, few such projects ever recoup 100% of their cost. Small changes like de-cluttering, making minor repairs and touching up paint, however, can have a positive effect on your home’s appraisal without requiring you to break the bank.

Don’t forget about your home’s exterior

Your home’s interior isn’t all that will be considered during the appraisal. Check for missing and lifted shingles, damaged siding, or any other noticeable damage on the exterior of your house and ensure that it’s fixed before the appraiser arrives.

$500 Rule

Appraisers often value homes in increments of $500, so if they see a cracked door or a leaky tap, your home value could decrease by $500 even though it may only cost you $300 to fix the problem. Thus, it’s important you take care of all problems, no matter how small, beforehand as they can make a huge difference in the final amount.


McGarr Realty is comprised of knowledgeable realtors who truly love what they do and where they do it! Our team would be thrilled to show you all the beauty this wonderful region has to offer.

For the top real estate listings in the Niagara Region, contact our St. Catharines realty team at 905-687-9229, or our NOTL realty team at 905-468-9229, or visit our website here!

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