Does A Messy House Affect An Appraisal?
Home appraisals are professional opinions on how much your property is worth. Lenders may require them because it tells them how much they can lend. Thus, you’ll need an appraisal whenever you:
Homeowners, however, can sometimes worry that a messy house will affect their appraisal. Can it?
How Does A Messy House Affect An Appraisal?
Home appraisers primarily represent the lender’s interests. Their job is to accurately judge the likely market price of your property. Hence, their estimate provides the lender with the value of their collateral.
Professional real estate appraisers are both licensed and certified in every state in the US. Rules state that they must also be familiar with your property’s location. Furthermore, appraisers should be independent. They must have no direct financial stake in the property transaction.
Property appraisers judge the value of a home based on sale prices of similar comparables in the community. This gives them a ballpark figure or range of prices for your home.
They then assess factors that could affect the price. These include external items such as:
- The size of the property’s lot
- Whether the property is connected to mains utility supplies
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms it has
- Whether the property has space for cars and a driveway
- Style of the house, such as log cabin, ranch, mediteranian etc.
The appraiser will then conduct a visual inspection of the inside and outside of a property. This checks whether your property requires repairs. They will look for:
- Peeling paint on the doors
- Rotting window frames
- Problems with the roofing
- Missing external fixtures or fittings
- Cracks in the walls
Appraisers look for these things because they can adversely affect a home’s value. The more damage a property has, the lower its likely sale price.
Does A Messy House Affect An Appraisal?
The methodology appraisers use, a messy house does not affect their valuation. Toys or clothes scattered on the floor, or dirty plates in the sink should not affect a valuation. Appraisers are trained professionals able to look past clutter and see the deeper value of your property. After all, when you vacate your property, you will take your possessions with you. So they should not affect the buyer.
Prepare For A Home Appraisal
Most of the factors that affect the value of your home are out of your control. However, there are still some things you can do to maximize your chances of a high valuation.
Clear Mess In Your Yard
Remove any old tires, old furniture, hazardous material or anything that may appear as this could be considered solid waste.
Attend The Appraisal Yourself
By being there, you can point out things that might not be immediately obvious to the appraiser. You may be able to provide extra information that helps them better evaluate the value of your property. For instance, you might point out extra storage space or additional lots that you own connected to the property.
Attend Provide Recent Comparable Sales To The Appraiser For Review
You may also want to get recent sales of similar properties in your neighborhood and give the addresses to the appraiser as a way to help provide potential comparables. The appraiser does not have to use these comparables, however they may help in supporting a certain value.
Create A Document Citing All Your Home Improvements
Provide the appraiser with a quickfire list of all the updates you’ve made in the past year. Include things like how much the update cost and when you had the work done. Also give them paperwork related to any building permits.
Fix Small Problems
Correct issues such as broken faucets, locks and windows. You may also want to correct issues such as holes or paint peeling on the walls. If the pool is green, make sure to get a pool servicer to clean it.
Collect Documents That Will Assist The Appraiser
You may want to collect documents that might assist the appraiser.
- Copy of the purchase contract
- Purchase Agreement if your sale is pending
- Any shared maintenance agreements for the property as a whole or shared access
- Blueprints of the house, including the plot
- Any fixtures of fittings being sold alongside the home
- Information on any regular covenants or fees required as part of owning the home
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