Five Areas That Can Hurt Your Appraisal

When you’re listing your home for sale, one of the things that is very vital is the appraisal. Yet, this is an area that can be significantly positively or negatively influenced by what you do or don’t do to your home before it is appraised.

Knowing which areas to pay particular attention to can help you increase your home’s value. Here are five areas that can hurt your appraisal.

Unkept Exterior/Interior
Having a messy home from the outside in, not only can cause potential buyers to turn away from your home but it can also cause an appraiser to shave a little off your appraisal. If the exterior has lots of overgrown and unkept bushes and the house is dilapidated, this could cause the appraiser to take “as much as 3 percent off”, according to CNNMoney.

Curb appeal doesn’t just help entice buyers to come in and see more of your home, it can actually increase your appraisal value. Also, If neighboring homes are meticulously kept up and yours isn’t, this could cause your appraisal to be even more severely downgraded. A carefully maintained yard is a sign that the home is also likely kept up.

Trendy Remodels
Remodeling can certainly add value to your home, especially if you’re adding storage, room additions, and other important improvements that are popular among buyers. However, if you do a costly and trendy remodel and think that the true cost will equal the value, you could likely be very disappointed.

Some remodels add value while others can actually hurt you when an appraisal is done. To make the most of a remodel, renovations should keep in line with the historical period of the home. If they don’t, then an appraiser will assess the cost of having the remodel taken out such as a trendy custom-built, entertainment center. However adding space to the kitchen using timeless styles will add value.

Unfinished Remodeling Projects
Don’t have an appraiser inspect when your remodels are incomplete. If you must get the home appraised and work is nearly complete at the time of the appraisal, be sure to give the appraiser a full description of the job and what is being done to quickly and professionally complete it.

Forgetting To List Improvements
Don’t expect all improvements to help your appraisal. For instance, a new roof won’t count. Buyers and appraisers expect a roof to be in good condition. However, some other improvements could add value to the appraisal. Rather than trying to determine which improvement will increase your value, compile a detailed list and give it to the appraiser. Have copies of any documentation, such as city permits that were necessary, available for the appraiser to review.

Not Doing Your Homework
It is important to understand your marketplace and what homes similar to yours have recently sold for. For instance, it is especially vital to know the reason a home that is similar to yours sold for less. That way you can explain to the appraiser the difference between yours and the one that sold for a lower price. Be sure to use an experienced real estate agent to provide you with market information before you have your home appraised.

Taking the time to understand the areas that can positively influence your appraisal can help ward off the chances that your home will be appraised at a lower value than the asking price.


Published by REALTY TIMES, August 23, 2012. Written by Phoebe Chongchua.