One of my most popular questions is how can I increase the value of my house? Thanks to HGTV and TLC, it's almost common sense that improving the kitchen or master bathroom is the most cost-effective remodeling effort. However, patio decks and exterior siding are leading the cost vs. value trends in 2007 and 2008 (both attributed to newly available synthetic building materials). But what if you don't have thousands and thousands of dollars and the appraiser is coming tomorrow?
Here are some basic things any homeowner can do to maximize their appraisal potential:
1) Repair or replace anything that is broken or missing
2) Clean everything inside and out, top to bottom
3) Remove the junk and clutter
The overall idea is to give the appraiser (and buyer, if you are selling) the impression that the property has been taken care of, and don't give the appraiser a reason to withhold or down-grade your value. The house is what it is. This is about making the best out of what you have to work with.
PS: You can put granite counters on your old cabinets, but appraisers and buyers will see it like a pig with lipstick.