An appraisal is an unbiased, professional opinion of how much your home is worth. It must be completed by a professional who’s qualified and certified in your state.
The results of the appraisal help you determine the asking price for your home. The appraisal is important to buyers, as well. If they’re taking out a mortgage to buy a house, the lender uses the appraisal to ensure they don’t offer too much loan.
Many home sellers worry about this process and wonder what negatively affects home appraisal results. Read on to learn what hurts a home appraisal.
What Do They Look for in a Home Appraisal?
First, an appraiser researches external factors. These include the characteristics of your neighborhood, such as urban, suburban, or rural.
An appraiser will also determine the percentage of land used, zoning classifications, and types of housing (single- or multi-family, commercial, etc.) that exist or are allowed.
The appraiser will measure lot size, and note whether the property has public utilities like sewer and water. They’ll determine the type of driveway surface you have, as well as the amount of car storage. For instance, do you have a one-car or two-car garage?
Next, the appraiser will analyze your property’s internal characteristics. These include:
- square footage
- number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- kitchen and bathroom remodels or upgrades
- foundation type
- basement, attic, or crawl space
- materials used for walls, windows, and floors
Do Appraisers Even Look in Closets?
By now, you’re probably wondering exactly how detailed appraisals can be. Homeowners often wonder where the appraiser will look. Questions about if they’ll peek inside closets or does carpet affect appraisal are common.
The short answer is yes, they will look in your closet… but only to determine the total living area. So while a clean, organized closet is a sign of respect for the appraiser (and a lot more pleasant to look at) a messy closet won’t negatively affect home value.
Now that we’ve established that a tidy closet won’t raise your home value, let’s look at what negatively affects home appraisal results.
What Hurts a Home Appraisal the Most?
Controllable factors that can negatively affect an appraisal include:
- Messy landscaping
- Unusual exterior paint colors
- Unwise renovation choices, such as spending too much on a kitchen upgrade
- A disheveled home
- A home in disrepair
- Structural damage
Some factors are out of your control, such as:
- Other comparable sales (comps) in the area
- Your home’s location
- Market conditions (both “hot” and “cold”)
- Lack of experience
- Lack of local market knowledge
Traditional home buyers — those seeking a mortgage loan — depend on an appraisal to get financing. This can slow down the home sale process, or even bring it to a halt.
A better option? Sell to HomeGo. HomeGo purchases homes with cash, so an appraisal isn’t required. Plus, you’ll enjoy a quick, easy home sale, no repairs, staging, or upgrades required.
In most cases, you’ll receive an offer right away. With local agents and profesional contracts, HomeGo allows you to close with confidence.