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James Layfield

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Spyglass Realty and Investments

The Realty Skinny

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Does Cleanliness = Higher Appraised Value?

July 7th, 2016

OK, so you have an accepted offer and signed contract, but selling your home has many steps that don't end with the contract signing. The buyer's lender is going to conduct an independent appraisal to make sure your home is worth the sales price. Essentially, that appraiser can make or break the deal with their recommendation, and while they can't be bribed or swayed with money or gifts, they are human and subject to human nature. Can an immaculately clean home appraise higher than it would if it were a pigsty?

If you listen to appraisers and their firms, the answer is no. They believe that while being human, appraisers are not swayed by a property's cleanliness. Although the appraiser may have a better impression of the home, it does not affect value.

On the other hand, some Realtors┬« (myself included) feel that cleanliness does impact appraised value, even though it should not in theory. Appraisers are human, and it is human nature to be affected by a home's cleanliness, even if it is only subconsciously. When that appraiser gets back to his office to review the comps that are being compared to your home, he may subconsciously categorize the homes, and a good impression from your home goes a long way in that ranking. 

Here are a few pre-appraisal tips:

  • Provide a list of upgrades and features and make it available to the apppraiser
  • Either DIY, or contract professional cleaners to clean the home and make it shine
  • Provide a list of comparable homes, a helpfule step that could bring an appraisers attention to a comp that he may not have considered
  • Refreshments can be a nice gesture, but note that appraisers are not swayed by such courtesies.




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1107 Union Valley Dr., Pearland, TX 77581   Get Directions
Phone: (713) 249-2499
Fax: (713) 780-4994