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Preparing Your Home for an Appraisal: What to do and What to Avoid

If you’re planning to refinance or sell your home, you’ll need to have it appraised first. An appraisal is an essential part of the process because it gives you a good idea of how much your home is worth in today’s market. However, before the appraiser arrives, there are a few things you should do to prepare your home. In this blog post, we’ll cover what to do and what to avoid when preparing your home for an appraisal.

1. Clean your house

One of the crucial things appraisers look at is the condition of your home. Before the appraiser arrives, make sure you clean your home. Cleanliness can significantly affect your appraisal. Your home may have a lot of flaws, but if it’s clean, those flaws will be less noticeable. Dust, dirt, garbage, and overall untidiness can give the impression that your home is not well-maintained, which can lead to a lower value.

2. Declutter your home

Clutter can be an issue because it can make rooms seem smaller than they are. If the appraiser perceives your home as cramped and cluttered, this could lead to lower house value. Start with one room at a time and get rid of things you don’t need. Consider putting items in storage or donate them to charity.

3. Do minor repairs

Minor repairs such as leaky faucets, chipped paint, or a broken door or window can diminish your home's value. It’s essential to have these fixed before the appraiser arrives. You don’t have to spend a fortune to mend these minor issues. Addressing minor repairs is well worth the time and cost.

4. Don’t hide anything

Hiding anything from an appraiser does more harm than good. If you try to hide a significant issue, odds are the appraiser will uncover it and evaluate it negatively. For instance, if you’ve had water damage and just painted over it to make it seem untouched, the appraiser will detect the water damage and may reduce your home’s appraisal value.

5. Avoid over-improving

Renovations and upgrades that make your home stand out in the neighborhood are great, but over-improving can affect your appraisal. Before putting any big money into renovations, consider your neighborhood's value and how much your home is already worth. If you spend more money, it doesn’t necessarily translate to higher house value.


Preparing your home for an appraisal can make a big difference in how much your house is appraised for. Paying attention to the details can make your home appear more desirable, which increases the chances of a higher appraisal. Following these tips, clean your home, declutter, make minor repairs, don’t hide anything, and avoid over-improving can help you get the appraisal value you are looking for. It’s essential to be honest, and upfront with the appraiser. Remember, appraisal value is not the same as a home’s market value and can vary depending on market conditions. With proper preparation, you’ll be one step closer to achieving a satisfactory home appraisal.

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