4 Factors that Hurt a Home Appraisal

The second half of 2020 brought a lot of activity to the real estate market. With low inventory and competition from buyers, home prices have increased considerably. While this is great news for sellers, it’s important to keep in mind one important step of the home selling process: the appraisal. 

No seller wants their appraisal to come in low – especially if your buyer is using financing to purchase the home. The mortgage lender wants to protect the buyer (and themselves) by making sure they don’t lend more than the property is worth, and they look to the home appraisal to ensure it’s a safe loan. 

The good news is, getting your home ready for listing photos and showings often prepares the property for the appraisal as well. 

In a strong seller’s market like the one we are currently experiencing, appraisals are usually no issue. But, there are some factors that can hurt a home appraisal, no matter what the market looks like. Keep reading to learn what they are!

Ignored Maintenance

Maintenance that has long gone ignored can decrease the value of your home. General upkeep of your home is essential, not only for making your property look it’s best, but to ensure everything continues to run smoothly. If you’ve been putting off any repairs or general maintenance, take the time to make those fixes. 

Outdated Kitchen and Bathrooms

There’s a reason kitchen and bathroom renovations generally have the highest ROI for homeowners. Properties with outdated kitchens and bathrooms can hurt your home’s value and turn off buyers. This doesn’t mean you need a complete remodel, however. Often you can freshen up the space with some paint, refaced cabinets, and perhaps some new appliances.  

Home Systems Need Replacing

We’re not talking about an outdated sound system here. Big issues with your HVAC system, electrical system, plumbing, or even the roof and windows can hurt your home’s value – or worse – cause a buyer to walk away. 

No Outdoor Space

Outdoor living space has always been a desirable factor, and this year, it’s moved up the list to essential. Patios and decks create additional space that can be utilized in warmer months. The property’s value increases in the eyes of a buyer (and appraiser) if there’s an appealing and structurally sound area for gathering outdoors. 

Of course, there are some factors that impact your appraisal that you have no control over, including market conditions and sales of comparable properties. Speak with your real estate agent about the factors you can control so you can get the most out of the sale of your home!

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