My house is worth what?!?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Maybe you have a figure in mind for how much your house is worth and how to increase that price. But before you make any changes, see what type of improvements can make the most bang for the buck.

Who typically hires a home appraiser ?

While it is possible for home sellers to set their own prices by researching and consulting real estate agents, it may be a good idea to hire a professional appraiser before listing the property. Home buyers will use an appraiser approved by the bank that's loaning them the money, and if the seller's price is too high, the bank won't approve the loan. If everyone is on the same page about the appraised worth of the house, the sale should go more smoothly.

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This "improvement" can negatively affect the value of your home.

Each of these can be a real improvement for some, but for many, a swimming pool and a hot tub are a lot of work, as well as a danger for small children in the house or neighborhood. Sheds are great for tools and lawn care items, but if they're an eyesore or of little use to potential buyers, they become just one more thing to remove before moving in.

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What kind of landscaping can improve a home's value?

Adding elaborate flower beds and landscape features will certainly beautify a home and can add some curb appeal, but they probably won't increase a home's value. Many homeowners want low-maintenance, clean landscaping that won't require weekends of trimming and pruning.

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Why do textured walls and ceilings matter in an appraisal?

Some old homes have "popcorn" ceilings, which are notoriously hard to paint over or re-texture. They also can be a sign that previous owners have tried to cover leaky ceilings, smoke-stained walls or even old lead paint, so buyers are wary of what an inspection or time will uncover.

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Which smells are likely to turn off a home buyer and lower your home's value if not neutralized?

While some would love the wafting lilac and rose smell coming through the back screen door, others get woozy with too-sweet or "present" smells. Cigarette smells are a more obvious turn off, and curry is known to those who have inherited its aroma as a very difficult oily residue to remove from appliances, walls and ventilation systems.

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How can pet hair affect a home's value?

People with allergies often can pick up on an irritants like pet hair within minutes. Pet allergies are especially difficult because hair and dander get into carpets and even cracks in wood floors, requiring deep and thorough cleaning, and some individuals are even hyper-sensitive to the chemicals in cleaning products themselves, making washed walls, sparkling windows and dust-free blinds a problem if they have cleaning supply residues.

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What colors could hurt your home value?

Neutral colors like cream and muted yellows are classic, and earthy accent walls in greens and browns add dimension to rooms. But dark purple and black walls darken spaces and are hard to paint over -- and can create work for potential buyers.

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Keeping your house filled with your personal items can have what effect on potential buyers?

While a potential buyer can get decorating ideas and covet your comfy setup, real estate professionals note that too many personal touches and too much hominess makes it hard for people to see the potential of recreating their own space when they walk through. Removing photos, sentimental touches and personal items usually is recommended before showing a house.

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If two houses on the same street are priced the same, but one is considerably larger, which is likely to sell first?

Neither house may sell because not all buyers think that bigger is better, or that smaller is easier to maintain. Preferences are all over the place, and a real estate agent may show his best listing, but it still might not be what the buyer has in mind. On the other hand, your home may not be the best on your street, but it might be exactly what that buyer is looking for.

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Which option would likely be the best improvement to your flooring and add value to your home during an appraisal?

Many professionals recommend removing wall-to-wall carpet if hardwood flooring underneath is in good condition, especially if the carpet is an undesirable color or pile.

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When did the U.S. government last get involved in regulating the real estate appraisal process with banks?

In December of 2010, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors issued a joint report known as the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines, which replaced similar rules and recommendations from 1994.

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What scent is widely regarded as appealing when staging a home for sale?

Burning a cookie scented candle or actually baking cookies before showing a house is a staging trick used by many real estate agents and home stagers.

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If your home is appraised at a value less than what you paid for it, what steps can you take?

Banks rely on proven, trusted appraisers to set home sale values, so appealing to the money lender probably won't be effective. Waiting until the market improves or attempting to add value by taking recommendations from an appraiser are the best options during a down market.

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What is a major difference between a home inspection and a home appraisal?

Appraisals are based on objective measurements with some subjective judgments, and they come with a lot of suggestions that you can consider to increase your home's value. A home inspector, on the other hand, is paid to determine whether or not there is anything wrong with a property that must be corrected before a sale can take place, either to bring a home up to building code or to satisfy the buyer.

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If your home is still occupied while you're showing it, what type of cleaning should you do?

Even though most buyers are understanding and generally respectful when they view an occupied listing, it certainly won't scream "buy me" if the house is a mess. So cleaning and de-cluttering the house from top to bottom will make the house show better, and save you time when you're ready to move out.

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Which of these upgrades would make the most financial sense before an appraisal?

While all of these can make a house more attractive and saleable, replacing damaged siding is the best option because it improves the look of a house and increases its energy efficiency.

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What is CMA?

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is used by real estate agents to help assess the value of a property by comparing similar for sale and recently sold properties in the area, their features and their values.

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A room without a closet is technically:

A room without a closet can be listed as a bonus room or an office, but in most cases it cannot to be counted as a bedroom.

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True or False: Having a lot of closets and storage space is great when it comes time to hide the clutter and show the house.

False. Having plenty of storage space is a big plus for many home buyers, but if you fill them up with your clutter, they may not appear as large as they are, or as desirable. Some real estate agents recommend emptying out the closets and basement and storing the clutter in a rented storage space instead.

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What kind of decor and details show off a home to its best advantage?

Potential buyers don't typically want to know or see you when they try to imagine themselves taking over your home. So removing personal items like photos and toiletries helps create an open-house style home that is ready for someone else to personalize.

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