October 17th, 2011 8:15 AM by Lehel S.
The appraiser was due in an hour. The beds were unmade, breakfast dishes in the sink and toys scattered about the playroom. Would she care?
I got moving—and cleaning. At 34 weeks pregnant, that’s not so easy.
After all, I know lowball appraisals can kill deals, something I’ve written about for The Journal.
They can also kill a refinancing application, which we are in the midst of for our 1920s Georgian-style house in Queens. If it comes in too low, it’s not worth refinancing or you might need to put in a whole lot more equity.
We don’t know how ours turned out yet but after talking to a handful of appraisers, I felt great regret at not doing more to plan and prep. Here are some tips based on those conversations.
Caution: Some of the advice—like home valuations themselves these days—might feel contradictory. But what they all agree on is to keep the look, feel and condition of the property as updated and cared for as possible.
With those things in mind, let the appraiser do his or her job. “Questions and banter may make the inspection go slow or make the appraise miss something,” said James R. Gerot, a residential appraiser in Ottumwa, Iowa. “My inspections have a rhythm to them so once I get started interruptions are just that. Save questions until after.”