Home Appraisal: Does Extra Clean Add Extra Value?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty NJ# 9483506

Whenever a buyer finances their purchase with a mortgage loan, the lender requires a home appraisal. If the property's appraised value falls below the agreed-upon price, your sale may fall through. So, as the seller, you want to make sure your property is in tip-top shape before the appraiser comes through. Once you get into the escrow phase of the sale, you need to go through your home once again to ensure it looks great for the appraiser. That includes cleaning it until everything sparkles. 

Does extra clean mean extra value during a home appraisal? Short answer? No. But it never hurts to make a good impression with your appraiser.

Home Appraisal: Does Extra Clean Add Extra Value?

Bottom line? No, cleanliness technically does not affect your appraised value. However, a spotless home creates a mindset with the appraiser similar to the one it creates with a buyer. Starting off with a positive impression never hurts. Plus, it makes the appraiser (even subconsciously) think that the homeowner kept up with the property's maintenance. 

Put in the Elbow Grease

Always, always, always clean both the interior and exterior of your property before a home appraisal. That means cleaning windows, deep cleaning carpet, mopping floors, scrubbing countertops, etc. Clear the clutter. Put away toys and clothes. Make the beds. Take out the trash. Touch up paint where needed. You make an appraiser's job easier by allowing clear access to all areas of your home. By making their job easier, it puts them in a better frame of mind. While this should not affect your home's value, we do tend to see higher numbers for cleaner homes.

List Your Updates/Upgrades

During a home appraisal, the homeowner and/or their representative are allowed to be present. But hovering over the appraiser may agitate them. You do not want that to happen. However, you can make it easier for the appraiser by providing a list of all updates/upgrades you performed on your property, especially those that are not easily seen. That includes upgrades/repairs to the plumbing, roof, irrigation, or HVAC system.

The Way to an Appraiser's Heart...

...is through their stomach? Well, not really. Nevertheless, providing a nice snack and beverage can only help. When they grab for a cookie and a cold bottle of water, make sure to provide them with a list of comps in the neighborhood. Yes. Running comps is part of the appraisal process. Yet, some recent comps may not show up. Your REALTOR® can make sure to print off the most up-to-date list just before the scheduled home appraisal so that it is handy. Again, this makes the appraiser's job a little easier. 

Scott Gleason, CRS at Coldwell Banker Realty – East, NJ Luxury Homes

Originally posted on my Westfield area real estate blog here: https://mrwestfield.com/2022/07/22/home-appraisal.

Comments (4)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I've always recommended to my clients that they have their homes as "show ready" for inspectors and appraisers as they did for prospective buyers.

Jul 31, 2022 05:01 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Scott - perceptions can make a difference.  In real estate and in everyday life.  

Jul 31, 2022 05:54 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Scott, why leave any doubts with the appraiser, I too prepare my sellers and ask that the home is show ready.

Jul 31, 2022 08:48 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

There is no such thang as too clean and specially to attract a buyer and make sure the appraise is impressed. For the appraiser, it surely wouldn't hurt to have a plaque on the wall in the entryway that just reads, Zestimates not wanted here.

Jul 31, 2022 03:50 PM