While many owners consider a 
home appraisal as simply another step in the process of selling or refinancing their homes, homeowners who prep their homes for the appraisal often fair better than those who do nothing.

Here are seven ways to prepare your home for the best appraisal possible:

1. Give the appraiser a list of recent sales. Ask your real estate agent to make a list of properties similar to yours that have recently sold in your neighborhood. Be sure to include the sales price. This is one less thing the appraiser has to do.

2. Supply a copy of your home’s blueprint. This will help to verify room measurements and lot size. Also, provide the date your home was built.

3. Provide a list of improvements. Make a list of improvements you’ve made to your property since you bought it. Include the dates the improvements were made. Be sure to list all improvements such as adding a room, updating your kitchen or bathroom, pouring a patio or replacing a roof.

4. Make it easy for your appraiser to see the entire property. Do you have an attic or crawl space that’s hard to access? Do whatever is necessary to make it easy for the appraiser to get to those hard to reach spaces.

5. Spruce it up. A clean home makes a good impression. Trip the lawn, clean the garage, and make minor repairs both inside and out.

6. Point out amenities. Do you have a sprinkler or security system, built-in vacuum, or other special features that aren’t obvious? Give a list of these amenities to your appraiser.

7. Provide a copy of your most recent property tax assessment. The assessed value of your home is what your taxing authority (your county, city or town) uses to determine how much property tax is due. The period between assessments varies by jurisdiction. Some taxing authorities might conduct full assessments every six years, for instance, but update their records annually to account for new homes or building improvements. Contact your county, city or town to get the most recent tax assessment for your property.