How to impress an appraiser

Home appraisers are an often maligned part of home ownership, but if you want your home to be worth what you think it is, whether you're selling it or refinancing, then they're the ones you have to impress.

First and foremost is taking the time to make sure the home is clean and free of as much clutter as possible. You're not selling the home, so personal touches and paint color doesn't matter much, but the cleaner the house is, the better shape it will seem to be in. Take the time and spend the money to fix little problems, like leaking plumbing or cracked windows and siding. A little spackle, a new carpet and some fresh paint could make a big difference in the overall appraisal of the home.

Try to stay out of the way of the appraisers. While they should be unbiased, being followed around can end up annoying and may subconcsiously change their price. This goes double for pets.

Try to have a detailed explanation and list of any improvements or remodeling you've done to the house in the recent past, as anything you've done to improve value may work in your favor, and the appraiser won't know you've installed new pipes if you don't tell her.