Will a Dirty Home Impact Your Appraisal?

Right now, we are all scared of anything dirty or unsanitary, but will a dirty home impact your appraisal? It's a unique question and one you may be wondering about if you're selling your home or going through the refinancing process.

Once you've accepted an offer on your home, the stress really begins. You have to go through the home inspection process, the buyer has to get approved for the mortgage, and bad appraisal could kill the entire deal.

You might start dreaming up all types of unique questions. This could lead to worrying about things like if a dirty home impacts the appraisal?

The Answer to Does a Dirty Home Affect the Appraisal?

Simply put, NO. A dirty home will have no impact on your appraisal.

Appraisals are based on square footage, the number of rooms, the home condition, and other factors. It will not factor in your decor or how clean your home is or isn't.

Could be a Sign of Something Else, However

While an appraiser won't look at how dirty your home is and factor it into the home's value, they may see a filthy home and look for other issues. If a home hasn't been well taken care of or properly maintained and appears filthy, it may trigger an appraiser to look for an underlying issue.

There is a fine line between dirty and filthy. To better understand if your home could fall into the category of filthy, let look at how an appraiser will come up with the value for your home.

Before An Appraiser Visits Your Home

The appraisal process starts before an appraiser actually steps foot on your property. They will start by looking for comparable properties in your area that have recently sold. The sales price of these properties will help to determine the market value of your home.

The Appraiser's Visit

When they show up at your home, they will look to ensure everything within their description matches. They will do a quick tour to check off items, such as a fireplace, fence, porch, garage, attic, swimming pool, deck, etc.

An appraiser will also record the condition of specific areas of the home including:

  • Roof surface
  • Screens
  • Windows
  • Bathroom floor
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Trim/Finish

They may also take measurements of specific rooms or areas within the home. They won't record whether the windows have been cleaned recently or whether the carpet was vacuumed.

Excessive Dirtiness May Impact the Appraisal

Extreme conditions will change the answer to the question; will a dirty home impact your appraisal?

When your home is so dirty or cluttered it prevents an accurate appraisal it becomes an issue. It may also impact your home's appraisal if the offer on the home was significantly higher than what makes sense for the condition of the home.

Some of the types of excessive dirt that may cause an issue include:

  • Piled up garbage
  • Mold or mildew damage which could be a sign of a water leak
  • Food waste throughout the home
  • Any dirty encouraging an infestation of unwanted pests
  • Thick filth on the floors covering up what could be a high or low-quality floor

If the dirt makes it hard for an appraiser to figure out the features the home actually has, it could lead to a less than accurate appraised value.

It's best to have your home clean before the appraiser arrives. However, you don't need to worry about the home being spotless. Just remember, appraisers are human and they may see a dirty home as a home that hasn't been well cared for. The safest solution is to clean your house before they arrive.

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