A Primer on Preparing for a FSBO Home Appraisal

A Primer on Preparing for a FSBO Home Appraisal

There are multiple factors that affect your home’s selling price, but the most significant part that determines this is your home’s appraised value. An appraisal is an impartial estimate of your home’s fair market value, which will set the baseline for the price you can settle on for your property. Aspects that affect this estimate include your home’s condition, location, size, and the housing market’s current state. 

An appraiser will inspect your home’s interior and exterior, analyzing all details like your landscaping, driveway, flooring, and roof. Once they’ve gone through your property, they’ll also consider the desirability of your property’s location and the price of similar homes in your neighborhood. Here’s what you should know about preparing for an appraisal as a FSBO in Maryland. 

Improving Your Home Appraisal

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to increase your home appraisal. While you won’t be able to change some factors, like the location or the state of the housing market, you can drive up your home price by focusing on a few things. You can start by getting your own appraisal, as it’s impossible to objectively look at the home you’re in every day. Having an impartial professional walk through your home will help you figure out what’s needed to improve your home’s value. A home appraisal cost usually goes for $200-$400, which is well worth the price when you’re trying to maximize on the sales price. 

It’s also crucial to make cost-effective upgrades to your home. The condition and quality of the materials and appliances in your property will impact its appraised value. Still, most renovations don’t offer a positive return on investment, so update things that direly need replacing, like a malfunctioning refrigerator, an AC unit that’s about to conk out. You can also opt for inexpensive upgrades that will bump up your home’s price even by a little bit, like a new front door, paint, fixtures, and new flooring in your bathroom or kitchen.

Preparing for the Home Appraisal Process

Once you’ve figured out ways to maximize your home’s value, you’ll now have to prepare your home for the appraiser’s visit. You’ll want to establish a clean, presentable, and functional front, which will make a solid impression and increase your chances of getting a strong appraisal. 

For starters, be sure to give your home a deep clean. Shampoo or vigorously scrub your walls and floors. Polish the hardware, wipe down your furniture, and make certain things are gleaming due to how clean they are. When your home looks as new as possible, your home appraisal will fall in your favor.

You’ll also want to ensure that everything is working as it should, like light bulbs, home security systems, air conditioning, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and every other feature you have in your home. If an appraiser toggles a switch and nothing happens, that will be a mark against your property.

It is also crucial to stage your home, which means doing away with clutter, piles of dirty laundry, scattered belongings, and dirty dishes. Put all your mess away to create a bright interior with enough space. You may even want to remove furniture if a room feels tight and cramped. If you want to take a step further, add lamps to dark areas, as clean, neat homes are more appealing and valuable.

Lastly, be sure to write down all the investments you’ve made in your home, like drafting a sheet of the upgrades you’ve made. That way, the appraiser can instantly see what you’ve done to improve your home. You’ll want to add permits, warranties, and invoices.


A FSBO home appraisal can be nerve-wracking, as every homeowner wants to fetch the maximum price possible to make the most profit when selling their homes. By following our guide, you’ll have no problem improving your home to the best it can be, getting the highest potential value for your property.

How Can We Help You?

If you are interested in selling as a  For Sale By Owner, you’re in the right place.Get the legal assistance you need to sell your FSBO property. Saman Saba is a real estate attorney in Maryland working to empower real estate sellers and buyers so that they may make better and more informed decisions regarding one of their most important assets: their residential properties. 

In an effort to help you successfully sell your property as a For Sale By Owner, we have prepared a FREE FSBO Success Packet which includes:

  1. An in depth explanation of our flat-fee pricing model and exactly which services are included.
  2.  A complimentary copy of Saman’s bestselling book, Sell Your Home With Confidence: Reduce Your Liability When Selling, FSBO EDITION which goes into depth regarding what steps a FSBO seller should take when selling their property.
  3. A complimentary viewing of a 30-minute Masterclass entitled, ​​Home Equity Protection: How To Not Be Bamboozled When Selling which highlights the main ways that home sellers can leave thousands of dollars on the table when selling.
  4. And so much more!

Click here to access the FREE FSBO Success Packet. 

Ready to get started? Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation.

    Hi! I am Saman Saba, Esq., real estate attorney, REALTOR®, and best selling author! I help real estate owners, buyers, and business owners find the right property that meets their unique needs.

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