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7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Appraisal

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Are you anticipating having your home appraised? How can you prepare for the inspection? This week I welcome back guest blogger, Betty White, who shares her thoughts on ways to prepare. While she is not an appraiser, I am, and I agree that these things can help!

I hope you find this information helpful!

When selling or refinancing a house, an appraisal is typically necessary. An impartial appraiser can give a homeowner a reliable assessment of their home’s value for mortgage or refinancing purposes. To get the most money out of the sale of your home, you should prepare for a home appraisal.

A professional appraiser will determine your home’s worth after considering its size, condition, and quality of its interior. Appraisers think about previous sales and the state of the market in your neighborhood. The appraiser will provide your home’s estimated market value in writing afterward. You may increase the likelihood of receiving the price you need from an appraiser by making your home presentable, but you can never entirely control its worth. Here are our best tips on how to prepare for a home appraisal.

1. Assume the role of a potential buyer

All of our time is spent at home. Visitors’ impressions of a place are often disregarded. To be ready for an assessment, take an unbiased tour of your house as if it were your first time seeing it. Is the house looking as well as it can? It is essential to keep your property in pristine condition in order to impress the appraiser. To accomplish this, list everything you see that might be changed in each area. Here, you get to play the role of a prospective buyer touring the home. Look for areas that might use some care and give them the attention they deserve if you want to sell your home quickly.

If you plan on selling your home soon, it is a good idea to stage the rooms that potential buyers (and appraisers) will want to see. You should also provide an attractive environment for your prospective buyer. Rooms like offices and dining rooms may be set up with the furniture you currently possess.

2. Thoroughly clean the house to prepare for a home appraisal

Though a pile of dirty laundry might not immediately impact your home’s worth, it certainly isn’t a good advertisement for your place. That’s why you should clean before an appraisal. While cleaning up, remove any stacks of paper off the countertops. One helpful suggestion is to quickly make a “keeps” pile and discard the rest. Do not waste time folding laundry if you do not have the time to do so. Dishes should be cleaned and put away in the dishwasher rather than left out on the counter. Make your beds and straighten up your rooms (kitchen, baths, etc.). It’s also essential to get rid of any foul smells. Prior to the evaluation and in the days leading up to it, spray your rooms with a room freshener. However, don’t overdo it; an abundance of fragrances is just as bad as a lack of them.

The first step to preparing for a home appraisal should be cleaning!

3. You shouldn’t spend more than $500 on maintenance and repairs

You might not want to spend much time and money on a home you’re trying to sell. Even if there are benefits to selling your home as-is, you can still focus on some cheaper repairs. You can easily fix cracked tiles, old wallpaper, a busted door, or an old-fashioned vanity in the bathroom for under $500. Minor defects often result in a reduction in the home’s value. If the appraiser finds several of these issues, the home’s value might fall by several thousand dollars. As a rule of thumb, problems you can fix for less than $500 should be addressed as quickly as possible. DIY projects may be a great way to increase your home’s worth if you’re feeling ambitious. However, you should try to get that money back in your value.

4. Decluttering to prepare for a home appraisal

There are two key advantages to selling a decluttered house. First, the appraiser will be able to perform a better job, including taking photographs and measurements, if the house is decluttered. Secondly, a neat space is a must for the best results during an appraisal. Most of our time is spent in the bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room. Thus these are the rooms that require the most frequent organizing.

5. Curb appeal is important

Designing a beautiful landscape for your house is more crucial than you would think. Minor landscape updates may significantly impact your home’s curb appeal and the resale price. Even if you can’t afford a major overhaul, inexpensively raise your home’s worth by painting the front door and planting a few small trees, installing landscape lighting, and replacing dead grass with low-maintenance vegetation or greenery. It has the added benefit of luring younger consumers who will likely make up the bulk of your clientele. To get your house ready for an assessment, try to give it a warm and inviting aspect without going overboard.

If you want to attract attention and raise the value of your property, curb appeal is the way to go!

6. Make it a comfortable place to be

Appraisers should be impartial, but it doesn’t hurt to make them feel welcome. Make your house more inviting by turning on all the lights and opening any drapes or blinds that may be blocking the entry of natural light. Make it seem more like home by turning the heat up to a pleasant temperature and piling on the throw pillows and blankets. Taking these easy measures may make the appraiser’s visit more pleasant.

Cozy it up for an excellent appraisal!

7. Avoid trailing behind the appraiser

During the home’s appraisal, it’s best to keep your distance from the appraiser. Appraisers have complained that it makes them suspicious that the home needs work. Let them do their work while being available for questions.


If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it when trying to prepare for a home appraisal. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about unimportant matters; focus instead on those that truly need to be done. As the big day approaches, we hope this information has been helpful to you. Have fun!


Are you looking for ways to prepare for a home appraisal? Well, look no further than this guide for all the info you need!

Photos used:

Thank you, Betty, for sharing some great tips to help prepare a home for an appraisal inspection. I think these are great tips for preparing to show a home when trying to sell it. 

I hope you enjoyed these tips and found something helpful here. Thank you for reading articles from the Cleveland Appraisal Blog! I appreciate your being here!

This is one of the most beautiful times of year in many parts of the country, including in Northeast Ohio, where I live. Take ten minutes and relax while watching some scenes of autumn.

Have a great weekend!

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You can also listen right here at Cleveland Appraisal Blog!


I am a member of the National Association of Appraisers. If you’re an appraiser, and you’re looking to join an appraisal organization, please check them out. The NAA is made up of fantastic appraisers from across the country who are working hard to keep their fellow appraisers up to date on what’s happening.

Click here to visit their website.

If you’re an appraiser and you’re looking to gain some new analytical skills, check out George Dell’s Stats, Graphs, and Data Science 1. Click here to register.


Here are some links to other articles I think you might also enjoy… 

The Housing Market Won’t Back Down (Quickly) – Housing Notes by Jonathan Miller

Are You Pricing Your Home Too High For Today’s Market? – Birmingham Appraisal Blog

Are home prices declining? What are appraisers saying? – Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Appraisers and Local Market Analysis –  APPRAISAL TODAY

They Might Be Selling Tap Water – The Real Value Podcast

USPAP Desktop Appraisals – The Appraiser’s Advocate Podcast

USPAP and Non-Traditional Appraisals – The Appraiser’s Advocate Podcast

Three Ways to Pick Comps? – George Dell’s Analog Blog

For my readers in the CLE area… here are some articles related to news in our local area that you may enjoy… 

Capitol centennial celebration, take two: Capitol Theatre will celebrate 101 years this weekend – Karin Connelly Rice of Fresh Water Cleveland

Squatchin’: We Spent a Weekend With Ohio Bigfoot Investigators Who Are More Determined Than Ever to Prove the Fabled Creature Is Real – Allison Babka of Cleveland Scene Magazine

5 thoughts on “7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Appraisal”

  1. I would definitely recommend a tidy house, but I always tell people appraisers are paid to look past personal property too. That’s the truth of the matter. Hope you are well Jamie.

  2. Thank you for sharing this article. It’s also important to remember that not all home improvements necessarily add value. Or better say the ROI is lower than you may want it to be. For example, many people decide to install a swimming pool to add value to a home, but this actually doesn’t worth the investment, as it can only boost your home’s value by 8%.
    If you have a pool in your backyard, there is one thing you can do to attract more buyers – to upgrade it to a saltwater pool. One of the major benefits of saltwater systems is that they have significantly lower levels of chlorine than traditional chlorine systems and don’t require harsh chemicals. As a result, the water is gentle on the skin, eyes, and hair. Plus, pools with a salt system are easier to maintain.

    1. Thanks for writing in! It is true that not all improvements add value. I have not seen any data to suggest that converting a pool to a salt water pool will have any impact on value. But that may depend on the part of the country where a person lives. In a place where pools are more common, perhaps this can make a difference. I agree with you that there are some benefits to having a salt water pool system. Thanks for mentioning this!

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