During the holidays, festive decorations can make your home look like a million bucks. But if you are planning to sell your home, decked halls probably won't increase the appraisal much. There are some basic things you can do to make your appraisal accurate, if not higher. Although your real estate agent will suggest a selling price for the home, a professional appraisal will be necessary for financing. Many experts recommend that sellers get an appraisal before they put their home on the market. This way, they can address points that are graded lower and possibly raise the appraisal of the house. Remember many aspects of a home appraisal are out of the homeowner's hands. The appraiser will consider recent sales prices of comparable properties in the area, for example. Homeowners can't change a home's location in relation to schools and amenities, and the appraiser will consider such things. Still, homeowners can do many things to make their properties appraise well. Maybe it goes without saying that the house should be clean and trimmed inside and out. Appraisers care about these things because it suggests how well the home is maintained. Fresh paint, mowed lawns, fences or stairs in good condition make a big difference in an appraisal. According to State Farm, making minor repairs such as repairing doorknobs or window handles can help your appraisal. Collect documents for the appraiser that show new investments in roofing, heating and cooling systems or any other major improvements, even flooring. A recent property survey can help to verify property size. When the appraiser arrives at the house, give him or her a chance to look around your home freely. Don't trail the appraiser from room-to-room.