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Preparing For The Appraisal In A Declining Market

Preparing for the home appraisal is always an important step when selling

your home. In a declining market, it becomes critical. When home prices

are rising or steady, one can expect the comps (comparable properties) will

justify the sales price you negotiated. When prices are falling, this becomes

less sure. Since appraisers use the most recent closed sales in their

comparisons, a new sale with a lower price can affect the value of your


While you can’t control the market, you can prepare for the appraisal and

put yourself in the best position to get the desired results. Working with

your agent, the first step is to arm yourself with good, local comps to share

with the appraiser. They will pull their own data as well, but by packaging

recent sales that justify your price, along with a short summary of why they

are good comparisons – such as comparable view, amenities, yard size,

etc. – may not only help the appraiser, but can be used to challenge an

appraisal if necessary.

The next step is to prepare your home to make the best impression. Not

only should the home be spotless but make any repairs necessary and

focus on curb appeal, just as you would for buyers. Have a list of any

improvements or upgrades you have made to the home. Remember things

like upgraded HVAC systems or new pool equipment too that highlight the

effort you’ve put into maintaining the property.

Finally, make every effort to be at the appraisal. Answer any questions

honestly and thoroughly. No one knows your home better than you do. In a

declining market, putting effort into showcasing the value of your home is

critical to the successful close.


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