Kathy Henne: Give them a hand

With all of the changes enacted in real estate and related industries, the appraisal process has not been immune. Because lenders were thought to be pressuring the appraisers they hired, banks now must largely work with independent appraisal companies, and they’re finding themselves buried in a backlog of appraisals that need to be completed.

Because of their workloads, appraisers will gladly consider any information the sellers or their agents can provide about your the property which will hopefully generate a more accurate report. As a seller, list the best features of your home, including recent improvements or even benefits of your location and give it to your listing agent to pass along to the appraiser or give them to the appraiser yourself when they arrive to appraise your home.

While you won’t necessarily be graded for your housekeeping skills, appraisers do pay attention to the appearance and cleanliness of your home. You can positively affect your appraisal’s outcome if your lawn is well cared for, your windows sparkle and your rooms look spacious. Appraisers are practically looking though the buyer’s eyes, so pretend you’re preparing for a special showing before their arrival.

If your home doesn’t appraise for the contract price, ask that the appraiser check for errors in important features like square footage or the property description.