When selling your home an appraisal is one of the most important processes that you will have to go through. An appraisal is how the bank as well as potential home buyers will know how much your home is actually worth. That is why it is so incredibly important to make sure that you are ready for an appraisal when it comes time to get one.
One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from clients is “Does a messy house affect an appraisal?” The short answer is yes and no. Clutter, dirt, and grime all have the ability to affect your home appraisal and the next questions that we hear are “Why?” and “How?”
What is the Appraisal Process?
In order to understand how a dirty or messy house can have an affect on your appraisal we must first look at how an appraisal is conducted and how a home is valued. An appraiser is the one who decides what the value of your home is in their own opinion. Even though it is left to the appraiser’s opinion it is not just based on guesswork. A home appraiser has studied tirelessly and has been certified in their ability to access the true value of your home.
So even though an appraiser is using their own opinion they are making judgement calls that are based on facts and the current housing market. They look at different trends as well as materials used, cost of appliances, square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, floor plan, and an appraiser will even go as far to look into the history of the home to determine the most accurate valuation of the home currently.
The appraiser will need to inspect the home while taking pictures of everything in the house so they can look back at them later during their assessment. We will even do virtual appraisals in which you take pictures of your home and send them to us to help make the appraisal process quick and easy.
How Does a Messy House Affect an Appraisal?
Now that you understand a little about the process and how it works we can talk about how a messy or dirty house can have an impact on your home appraisal. When an appraiser comes to the home and begins to access the value of it they will be taking a snapshot of what the home looks like in its current condition.
Appraisers are trained to overlook certain things such as some toys out on the floor, some dishes still in the sink, or clothes not hung up or put away. However there is a difference between some simple clutter and messes versus a very messy or super cluttered home.
That is why making sure it is clean and clear of clutter is so vitally important. Clutter, dirt, and mess can have a much larger impact on your appraisal than you think. If there are dirty handprints and marks all over the walls, peeling paint, piles of dirty laundry everywhere, or the outside of the house hasn’t been cleaned and it’s starting to look dingy, these things will affect the opinion of an appraisers valuation.
The more messy the home the more difficult it can be for an appraiser to give you an accurate valuation as opposed to what the valuation would be if the home was cleaned and free from clutter. For example, if your kitchen counters are super cluttered with food, papers, dirty dishes and have food smears and crumbs all over the place an appraiser will have a difficult time accessing what condition the counters are in underneath all of the mess. The same goes for clutter.
If there is so much clutter in a room that your appraiser has difficulty even walking through the room, that will negatively impact your appraisal valuation.
Some other messes that will definitely affect your appraisal value would be mold or mildew growing in your bathroom or around your sinks, smoking indoors will also negatively affect the value especially if you are not regularly cleaning the home from smoke damages.
That is why answering the question “Does a messy house affect an appraisal?” isn’t as easy as yes or no. It depends on every unique situation and it depends on if the mess and clutter are so bad that it inhibits an appraiser from being able to get an accurate representation of the current condition of your home.
How to Clean a Messy House for an Appraisal
There are a few ways that you can get your home ready for an appraisal. So we took the time to make a list of things that can help you to be better prepared for your home appraisal.
Clean the House
Now, cleaning around the house means simple and regular cleaning. As long as the home has been regularly maintained then a simple quick walkthrough making sure to wipe down counters and do your basic everyday or once a week cleaning routine.
Removing clutter is very important especially if you have a lot of it. Even if you need to simply rent a storage unit and put some of your extra clutter there to get it out of the way that will help a lot. Remember, an ordinary amount of clutter in the closets or in your garage is not a big deal. It is only a concern when it limits the appraisers ability to get in and out of a room or if they cannot access the entire room. Closets and other storage areas should be fine.
Improve Curb Appeal
Being able to improve your curb appeal will greatly help with your appraisal. Simply mowing the lawn or doing a little landscaping can greatly enhance the feel of your home. If there are any empty flower beds make sure to not leave them bare.
Touch up Paint
Touching up some paint is a great way to make your home feel fresh and new. It is a great alternative to needlessly trying to scrub marks off of your walls. A quick coat of paint will make your home feel like new again.
Here at R.E. Appraisal Associates of SWFL, Inc we care about our clients and their home selling and buying experience. If you need a home appraisal our excellent staff will help you with a quick and accurate appraisal either in-home or online. To learn more about what can negatively affect a home appraisal or to learn more about what we can do to help you, give us a call today at 941-743-3700.