What Hurts a Home Appraisal? | Redy

Zak BrethertonApril 10, 2023
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What Hurts a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is the process of determining a residential property's value. It is typically conducted by a professional appraiser who evaluates the property's physical characteristics, location, and other relevant factors to arrive at an estimated market value. The appraisal report usually includes an analysis of comparable properties in the area and any relevant details about the appraised property, such as its condition, size, and unique features.

Lenders often require home appraisals when a property is being purchased or refinanced, as they help ensure that the loan amount aligns with the property's value. Homeowners may also choose to have an appraisal done for various other reasons, such as estate planning, property tax assessments, or settling a legal dispute.

Why Is the Home Appraisal So Important?

The home appraisal is important for several reasons:

1. Helps determine the property's value

A home appraisal determines the property's fair market value. To arrive at an estimated value, the appraiser considers various factors, such as the property's location, size, condition, and any upgrades or renovations. Lenders use this value to determine the amount of financing they will provide, while sellers use it to determine a fair asking price.

2. Ensures accuracy in lending decisions

Lenders rely on home appraisals to ensure they lend an appropriate amount for a property. If the appraisal comes in lower than expected, the lender may adjust the loan amount or deny the loan altogether, which helps to prevent borrowers from taking on too much debt.

3. Helps buyers and sellers make informed decisions

Home appraisals can provide valuable information to buyers and sellers. The appraisal can help buyers determine whether the property's asking price is reasonable. For sellers, the appraisal can help them set a realistic price for their home.

4. Affects property tax assessments

Property taxes are often based on the assessed value of a property. A home appraisal can help ensure that the property is assessed at a fair value, which can help homeowners avoid overpaying on their property taxes.

A home appraisal is also essential in the home buying and selling process, as it helps ensure that everyone involved makes informed decisions based on an accurate assessment of the property's value.

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What Hurts a Home Appraisal?

Several things can hurt a house appraisal and result in a lower appraised value than anticipated. What negatively affects home appraisal:

1. Poor property condition

If the home is in poor condition, with visible damage or significant wear and tear, it can negatively impact the appraisal value. The appraiser will consider any necessary repairs or renovations needed to bring the home up to a desirable condition.

2. Location

The location of the property can also impact its appraisal value. If the property is in a less desirable area or a location prone to natural disasters or other risks, it can lower the appraisal value.

3. Recent sales in the area

Recent sales of comparable properties in the area can affect the appraisal value. If similar properties have recently sold for lower prices, the appraised property's value may also be lowered. 

4. Home improvements

While home improvements can increase the value of a property, poorly executed or unnecessary improvements can negatively impact the appraisal value. The appraiser will consider the quality and functionality of any upgrades or renovations.

5. Lack of updates or modern features

Outdated features, lack of modern amenities, or failure to update the property can also hurt a property's appraisal value. The appraiser will take into account the age and condition of the home's mechanical systems, such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.

6. No parking

Lack of adequate parking can lower a property's value, as it may be less appealing to potential buyers.

7. Maintenance

If a property has not been well-maintained, its value may be lowered. Poor maintenance includes things like outdated fixtures or appliances, damaged flooring or walls, and outdated HVAC systems.

8. Structural or foundation issues

Significant structural or foundation issues can significantly decrease a property's value. These issues can be costly to repair and can affect the home's safety and stability.

9. Age of property

Older homes may have outdated features, such as wiring or plumbing, which can lower their value. Additionally, if the property has not been well-maintained, its value may further decrease.

Remember that these factors are not exhaustive, and other factors such as market trends, the local economy, and the overall demand for housing in the area can also impact what hurts a home appraisal.

The home appraisal value is based on various factors, and a lower appraisal value doesn't necessarily mean the property is undesirable. It's important to work with a qualified appraiser and ensure that the property is in good condition to maximize the appraisal value.

What Do Home Appraisers Look For?

Here is a more detailed breakdown of what appraisers look for within each category:

Neighborhood conditions

  1. Recent sales of comparable properties in the area

  2. Quality of schools in the area

  3. Proximity to amenities such as parks, shopping, and transportation

  4. Crime rates in the area

  5. Zoning regulations and land use

  6. Site conditions

Size and shape of the lot

  1. Topography and slope of the land

  2. Accessibility to public roads and transportation

  3. Availability and access to utilities such as water, sewer, and electricity

  4. Easements, encroachments, and other restrictions on the property


  1. Size and layout, including the number of rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms

  2. Age of the home and any recent renovations or upgrades

  3. Quality of construction materials and workmanship

  4. Condition of the home, including any damage or necessary repairs

  5. Energy efficiency and sustainability features

  6. Unique or special property features, such as a pool or fireplace

  7. Curb appeal and overall aesthetics

By considering all these factors, home appraisers can arrive at a fair and accurate appraisal value for the property.

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Getting an accurate and fair appraisal is vital for both buyers and sellers. When selling a home, a high appraisal value can help attract potential buyers and maximize profits, while buyers rely on appraisals to ensure they pay a fair price for a property. To secure a successful appraisal, sellers can take steps to improve the property's condition and appeal, as well as address any issues that may lower its value.

Knowing what hurts a home appraisal and working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent can also help navigate the appraisal process and ensure all necessary factors are considered.

At Redy, our first-of-its-kind marketplace connects home sellers with top real estate agents who bid for the opportunity to represent their home sales. Each bid includes a cash offer, listing term, commission rate, and information about the agent. By putting all the negotiating cards on the table – and having the agent invest in the home sale upfront – we empower home sellers to make more informed decisions. Get started now by creating your property profile!

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