When you’re buying or selling a home, the appraisal is a critical step in the process. After all, it determines the fair market value of the property and plays a significant role in the financing and negotiations. But what factors can impact a home appraisal negatively? What hurts a home appraisal? 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various elements that can hurt a home appraisal, shedding light on what you need to watch out for.

Neglected Maintenance and Repairs

One of the primary factors that can hurt a home appraisal is neglected maintenance and needed repairs. Don’t think that appraisers won’t notice visible issues like a leaky roof, peeling paint, or malfunctioning HVAC systems. 

These red flags can lead to a lower appraisal value as they indicate potential costs for the buyer.

Comparable Sales in the Area

Appraisers rely heavily on comparable sales, or “comps,” when determining a home’s value. So, if recent sales in your neighborhood are lower than expected, it can negatively impact your appraisal. 

Factors such as foreclosures or distressed sales in the area can skew the comps, resulting in a lower appraised value for your home.

Unfinished Renovations

While renovations can add value to your home, unfinished projects can have the opposite effect. Indeed, incomplete renovations can raise concerns about the quality of work and the costs involved in finishing them. 

This uncertainty can lead to a lower appraisal, as appraisers may not assign full value to unfinished upgrades.

Poor Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, and that includes your home’s curb appeal. Therefore, if your property lacks landscaping, has an unkempt exterior, or needs a fresh coat of paint, it can hurt your appraisal. 

Appraisers consider a well-maintained and attractive exterior as an essential aspect of a property’s overall value.

Location and Neighborhood

The location of your home and the state of the neighborhood can also influence the appraisal. For example, if your property is in an area with a high crime rate, limited access to amenities, or undesirable schools, it can negatively impact the appraised value. 

On the other hand, a well-established, safe, and desirable neighborhood can boost your appraisal.

Market Conditions

Finally, market conditions play a crucial role in home appraisals. If you’re selling during a buyer’s market, where there is an abundance of homes for sale, it can lead to lower appraisals due to increased competition. 

Conversely, during a seller’s market, where demand outpaces supply, appraisals may come in higher.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, understanding what hurts a home appraisal is essential for both buyers and sellers. Neglected maintenance, comparable sales, unfinished renovations, curb appeal, location, and market conditions are all factors that can impact the appraisal value of your home. By addressing these issues and being aware of market conditions, you can better prepare for the appraisal process and ensure a more accurate valuation of your property.

Remember that appraisers are impartial professionals who follow strict guidelines, so it’s crucial to work on improving the aspects you can control, such as maintenance, repairs, and curb appeal, to maximize your home’s value. Ultimately, a well-maintained and appropriately priced property is more likely to receive a favorable appraisal, benefitting both buyers and sellers in the real estate market.


Need a hand selling your home? We’d be happy to help! Click here to get in touch with Hawkins/Ryerse Real Estate Group, and get started with us today.

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