If you’re a first-time home seller, the appraisal process can seem a little intimidating. A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of your home’s worth, so any differences in value can lead to negotiations to lower the sale price. And if those negotiations don’t bear fruit, the buyer can choose to walk away from the deal due to the appraisal contingency clause.

Even if it doesn’t seem so, though, you have plenty of influence when it comes to this process. Here are four simple tips that will help you avoid getting a low appraisal.

1. Get Your Own Assessment

Before having a licensed appraiser visit your home, ask a real estate agent for an assessment. They can tour the property with you and offer an objective opinion on potential improvements. Though some factors that can impact an appraisal score are out of your control – such as proximity to schools – there are plenty of smaller things you may be able to fix.

A home assessment is also a great time to ensure your health and safety features are in place and working. These include smoke and carbon detectors, cameras, and security systems.

2. Compile a List of Upgrades

When the appraiser shows up in your home, it may not be immediately obvious to them how much money and work went into it. One way to let them know about it is to provide a detailed list of all the home upgrades you’ve completed in the last five years. Don’t expect a dollar-for-dollar return on those investments, but a list like that can boost the home’s value.

Keep in mind that the value that renovations add also depends on the market. The more demand there is for homes, the less you need to worry about recent upgrades.

3. Refresh Your Curb Appeal

Appraisers consider all kinds of features that can add value to a home, including curb appeal. Though it’s a bit tricky to put a price on curb appeal from a quantitative standpoint, appraisers do consider it qualitatively when deciding on the value of your home. That’s why it’s a good idea to perform some basic lawn care service before the appraisers arrive.

Another way to improve your curb appeal is to refresh your outdoor furniture. Beyond making a poor first impression, weathered furniture indicates that the home itself is poorly cared for.

4. Research Your Comparables

A large part of appraising your home comes down to how its market value stacks up against comparable properties (comps). If you hired a real estate agent, they’ve likely already done their comps research before setting your home’s price. In this situation, the appraisal is likely just a formality and you can expect your home to sell for close to its listing price.

If you haven’t researched your comps yet, do it as soon as possible. Start by going to your local assessor’s office and looking at any recent sales in the previous six months.