How to Prepare to Sell Your Home

Every seller’s goal is to sell their home fast and bring top dollar for their investment. When selling a home, careful planning is a must. Appraisal Institute President-Elect Ken Wilson, MAI, SRA, lends his expertise and tips for how sellers can position their homes for the best success on the market in the Appraisal Institute’s latest video.

When preparing to sell their home, sellers should start by “spying” on their neighbors — talk to them, walk around the homemoneycalculatorneighborhood, and attend open houses of similar homes in the area. This will give the seller an idea for which features buyers are likely to expect in their area.

Sellers don’t want to add features to their home beyond what’s typical in the neighborhood, but they don’t want to be at the bottom of the scale either. Sellers should make sure big-ticket items are up to code, including the roof and the basement. These can be expensive fixes, but if left uncorrected, they most likely will raise red flags for a buyer’s appraiser, potentially hindering a sale. [Read more…]

Plan Now for Home Winterization, Appraisal Institute Urges Consumers

The Appraisal Institute urges homeowners to consider winterizing their properties to potentially lower energy costs, increase comfort in cold months and possibly improve resale value.

home-costs (1)AI encourages homeowners to focus on three main updates for the winter: windows, exterior and furnace.

Adding energy-efficient vinyl windows to the home can have an average payback of more than 69 percent, according to the Remodeling 2011–12 Cost vs. Value Report, published by Hanley Wood. Vinyl replacement windows offer a higher return on investment than wood replacement windows and also have a higher projected return on investment than many other home improvement projects.

That same study found exterior replacement projects retained the most value in home improvements. For example, updating and replacing fiber-cement siding returned 78 percent of homeowners’ original investment. [Read more…]