Secrets of a Home Appraisal Makeover

One expert helps a family increase the value of their home by the tens of thousands.
3:00 | 09/26/12

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Transcript for Secrets of a Home Appraisal Makeover
Tonight a much-needed shot of optimism for the american housing mars new data released these medium home prices have risen since last july. While it could mean good news for the roughly 2 million americans with homes on the market. There are cheap and easy ways you can raise your home's value yourself sometimes by tens of thousands are dollars. Sharyn alfonsi brings us incredible 48-hour makeover. Reporter: Meet jessica and her husband, karl. Their whole family lived in this town of new jersey, their mom, and dad, up the road and everyone so close to skres ka a jessica and carl. But they decided to move. We all put our house on the market at the same time. There's sold and they're gone. Reporter: They can't sell their house and can't figure out why. They bought the house for $325,000 six years ago. Today they're asking $225,000. 100,000 less. But it still won't sell. 100,000, it's real money and our savings -- we're going pay to get out of . Is it overpriced? They brought in an appraiser to find out and got bad news.He estimated their home was worth just $190,000. 35,000 less than what they're asking. That gap could be a huge pem if they ever do get an offer. . When a bank gets a low appraisal they often won't do the loan at all. They feel it's overvalued. And they feel at risk. You can implore with the bank they have a second look but the fact of the matter it's rarely urn turned around. Reporter: Underappraisals is an obstacle in today's tough et. Just when they thought everything was great and they know what the house is worth and three people wanted it. They get the last-minute surprise, oops, can't buy it. Can't get the money. Reporter: Can they get the appraisal up for are they suck? We brought in alice, one of the leadest appraisal experts to help. We need a hatchet. She said the overgrown yard is a big problem. This is deferd maintenance. Reporter: Maintenance counts. An appraiser can take off thousand of dollars for having an unkempt yard. Reporter: In the ki jessica already stripped down the cabinets and painted them white but alice wants the fawcett updated. It makes it look jazzier. Reporter: She said don't redo the entire kitchen. Adding a new facet could be considered an update and adds value. Then the office. Reporter: Down stairs it's out with the old and in with the new. Alice said an old tv can actually make the whole room look dated. And she notices this. Is there a reason why there's carpet on top of carpet? Carpet on top of carpet wl read like a stain. Don't want to give the appraiser the impression you're hiding something. Also there's some things you should high. I'm struck by fruit and a sword on the mantle. Reporter: Pack away personal touch, art, religious artifacts, houses like saltine cracker, simple and bland and go with anything. So we started. Moflg out the oversized furniture. Slip covering what is west. Rolling up the regular and clipping the hujs. I left them with a list. It's seven pages long. You have 48 hours. Good luck. They spent $1600 on improvements but would it pay off? Remember the office? It's now all business. The cluttered kitchen, cleaned up. The old facet, updated and stuffed and dated living room now slip covered. Even the tv state of the art. The appraiser was here. Meet tom, an appraiser for 26 years. He said it's part art, part science. What kind of improve manies have you made to your home in the recent past? A lot. Reporter: He spent about an hour looking them over and sizing them up. But could those simple changes really increase their appraisal? Cost is not value. Because you paid "x" number of dollars and put $200,000 of upgrades into your home does not mean the market willmburse you for those expenses. Reporter: A day later they were ready to find out if the market would reimburse them for their upgrade. Remember the last appraisal was $190,000. The new appraisal? That's good. Reporter:214,000. A $24,000 increase. For "nightline" I'm share win alfonsi in hackettestown, new jersey.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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