Within a volatile real estate market, the slightest of imperfections can be what hurts a home appraisal for sellers. Homeowners trying to list their homes for sale can become stressed when faced with preparing for multiple issues that could impact their appraisal value. Therefore, those hoping to get a jumpstart on their inspections should review how home appraisals work to know what could potentially affect their home value.  


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What is a Home Appraisal?

 Home appraisals are estimates done by independent, licensed professionals hired to assess the market value of your home. Through a thorough inspection of size, amenities, and appeal, buyers decide from the appraiser’s results whether your home value is reasonably priced. Homeowners should consider these factors below for what hurts a home appraisal prior to inspection:  


Lacking Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything, especially during home appraisals that begin once appraisers set foot on your property. As a result, anything from chipped front door paint to ugly crabgrass or garbage will impact your home value, causing buyers to flee from the sale. 


Poor Maintenance

While your home doesn’t have to be showroom-worthy, good maintenance is the basis which appraisers judge your home’s quality. Regular home maintenance is the expected since faulty wiring, HVAC, or plumbing hurts a home appraisal from ever selling. It’s recommended that homeowners go against using cheaper construction for maintenance, though, as subpar repairs will worsen the impact on your home value.  


Neglected Interior & Utilities

Nothing hurts a home appraisal more than clear evidence of a neglected and damaged home interior. Though homeowners typically prepare for obvious damages like holes or broken door hinges, appraisers will also scrutinize each room for evidence of poor upkeep, including extreme amounts of clutter, flooding damage, grime, or infestation seen from dead bugs or animal droppings. Such neglect will immediately lower home value as well as the buyer’s faith in the purchase.  


Down Market

Appraisers typically take real estate market trends into account when deciding on a home value. Basing judgment off of local supply and demand, listing during a down market or poor sale period in your area will cause appraisers to lower value and hurt your home appraisal regardless of maintenance efforts.  


Curb appeal and location are two deciding factors in what hurts a home appraisal.

Curb appeal and location are two deciding factors in a home appraisal.


Undesirable Location

Real estate always stresses the importance of “location, location, location” when buying and selling a home. Whether buyers are young couples or families, appraisers consider the neighborhood’s impression along with your home. Far distance from shopping, entertainment, or school districts are what hurts a home appraisal most for families; however, for young couples, value drops due to poor, unmaintained neighboring houses and in areas of high crime.  


Home Size & Layout

Appraisers generally attribute higher appraisal value to larger homes due to space and potential family goals of buyers; yet, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, what hurts a home appraisal is if homes are strangely spaced. “Ugly” homes decrease in value for lacking sense in design as well as utility of space, such as by having a one car garage in a mansion with mostly bathrooms. Doesn’t make sense, right? Appraisers will account for rooms, space, and utility against your home value regardless.  


Dated Age

Unless your home holds historic value within your area, age is typically what hurts a home appraisal first within an inspection. With consideration to current buyers wanting comfort and updated amenities like pools, older home values are typically lower compared to those built around 10-20 years ago. Overall, updated buildings often out-appraise older homes that lack updated safety codes. 


Protecting Your Home Sale

While regular maintenance and damage repair is a good practice for homeowners, what hurts a home appraisal most is how some factors lay beyond your control. In fact, regardless of your home’s value, buyers can often make contingency plans and simply pull out from purchase. As Indiana’s title company, we at Metropolitan Title can help protect your home transactions and investments with excellent service, closing your home sale without wasting time or money. To look into our title services and insurance options, contact us today.