What Hurts a Home Appraisal
Top 3 things that could hurt your home appraisal:
1.) Lack of Maintenance
If your home is in poor condition due to lack of maintenance, it could be valued lower than similar homes that are well-maintained. This is because appraisers will take into consideration the condition of the property when determining its value. Lack of maintenance can lead to problems with the home’s major systems, such as the roof, HVAC, or plumbing. Lack of maintenance can also affect the safety and livability of the home. If the home has safety hazards or is in need of repairs, it could lower the appraised value. In general, it is important to keep a home well-maintained in order to preserve its value.
Appraisers are impartial and trained to view homes as though they are vacant. However, condition matters and general upkeep can be an indication of the overall level of maintenance in a home. To create the impression of a well maintained home, try to prepare before your appointment. Pick up that paint brush and take care of any chipped paint throughout your home. Put excess items and personal belongings in closets to give the feeling of space and organization. Do a quick deep clean by wiping baseboards, windows, and clearing dust bunnies from corners. Take advantage of any good weather the week of your appointment by mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, and rehanging gutters. All these little tasks will improve the condition of your home, which can increase its value.
2.)Unfinished major home projects
Can an appraisal be done in the middle of a remodel or other home project? Yes, but it can make things more complicated.
Major unfinished home improvements could make it more difficult for the appraiser to accurately assess the value of the improvements. If the items are not a safety issue then the house may be appraised “as is” in the lower condition (at a lower appraised value), as though updates are completed with an estimated cost to finish, as though updates are completed with “subject to completion” (often this includes a follow up appointment), or you may be told that you are required to complete the project before an appraisal can be done. It is best to complete any major home projects before attempting to sell or refinance your property.
3.) Negative external influences: Road noise
Properties with negative external influences tend to be valued lower than those without. If there is less demand for properties in the area, it could put downward pressure on home values. Overall, the location of a property is an important factor that is taken into consideration when determining its value. A common negative external influence is traffic noise from homes located near busier roads.
Appraisers observe noise levels on the property, both inside and outside the home. To lower the impact from road noise outside, you can use landscaping to create a visual barrier between the home and the road. This can be done with tall shrubs, trees, or fences. You can also install noise-reducing windows and doors. These can help to reduce the amount of noise that enters the home from the busy road. As a bonus, the windows and doors could make your home more energy efficient!