When most agents appraises a property, they are appraising it technically, however you shouldn’t discount the fact that they also may be unwittingly appraising it visually.
Technical, in that to justify a suggested selling price range / method, the agent needs to look at comparable sales in recent history, typically the last 3 months, along with in-depth knowledge of what’s currently on the market for sale, and compare that to what a “new-build”, if feasible/possible, in that locality would cost.
Visually though, and sight being one of our 5 mainly emotional senses, a properties “first impression” does just that, leaves an impression. So to minimize any possibly non-positive vibes, a potential seller would need to ensure, that before an agent calls around to appraise your property, you have….
…fixed that hole in the driveway up
…repaired that leaking rusting gutter over the patio, even though I know you said you will “repair it before I place the home on the market.”
…cleaned out the gutters around the garage, even though that clump of 20cm high green plants makes an environmental statement.
…repaired and completely re-hung that wardrobe door that came off 2 yrs ago
…most definitely water blasted any mossy areas, especially in dark / non-sun areas, slipping over on the path as an agent approaches the home to conduct an appraisal doesn’t always start the relationship off well
…although fine by you at 5ft 9in, have you have trimmed the overhanging branches on the approach path so that anyone over 5ft 10in won’t knock an eye out (why?, because this comes from the same school as those buyers who won’t buy a house for the colour of the kitchen, BUT remember we are talking about an emotional decision here, and most times emotional decisions aren’t logical)
All of this is certainly relevant for any property below $400k (speaking from a local market price points perspective) because above that it’s much harder. Above that figure, you will be competing against new homes, and I believe once buyers reach that price-point in your locality then you must be extra diligent.
If it’s like a lot of local family/couples buyers here in Nelson, I find that one half wants that “character home”, it must feel right, “like a proper home”, whereas the other is diametrically challenged, and might just want a newer home, with the latest insulation / double glazing, solar water heating, low maintenance, a so called “golfers home.”
Therefore if you have an older home, you must do all you can to ensure it doesn’t look all old, and that way it will appeal to both buyers equally. Perhaps outside is ok to look old, but inside needs to appeal the other way.
Why does this matters?
If my buyers have been looking every weekend for 6 months or more, then it’s a bit easier to get them to acknowledge that maybe their perfect “tick 10 out of 10 boxes” home is not out there, and that if they can tick 7-8 it should be up for serious consideration. I let them know that 9 out of 10 is almost a home run!
So therefore the less ticks they don’t cross off on your property is definitely placing your home in a more positive light than the competition.
The funny thing though, is that if they want to spend another 50k they will probably get what they want.