Factors that can lower a home's appraisal value.

Monday Dec 06th, 2021





It might be that you're "house blind" to factors that affect someone who's looking at your home for the first time. According to appraisers, here are six of the most common issues that affect value.

1.  An obsolete floor plan

If your home has a small, enclosed kitchen, a tiny bathroom, no door to the back garden, or you have to walk through one room to get to another, those kinds of things will affect value. In real estate, this is called "functional obsolescence," a phrase that means the home doesn't flow the way modern buyers expect. You may need to do some construction remodeling to fix this, such as moving a doorway, adding a sliding glass door, or opening up a wall.


2.  Unusual odors

You may not notice the smell, but when someone walks into your house for the first time, they can smell old carpeting, cat urine, and cooking odors that have permeated everything. To fix odor problems, replace the carpeting, treat urine spots, scrub and paint walls that have absorbed smells, and use deodorizers. Oh, remove your furniture, which will also have absorbed those smells. Stage the home with clean, new furniture if necessary.

3.  Messy neighbors

If the neighbor appears to be hoarding, or their landscaping is overgrown and weedy, it's a sign they might not be a considerate neighbor. This does affect the number and size of offers you get. An appraiser will also consider the neighbors (to a small extent) since they affect value. I'm not sure of the fix here, and it will likely depend on your relationship with your neighbors. Good luck.

4.  Disheveled outbuildings, siding, and yard

Even if the inside of your house is in perfect condition, if your garage is tumble-down, your siding dingy, and your landscaping ragged, then your house value will drop. The fix for this is obvious.

5.  Your home's past

Unfortunately, an appraiser must take into account anything that affects the value of a home, including its history. If someone died in the home, the appraiser could take that into account, especially if it was a violent death. You can't do anything about this, except hope that it isn't a big a deal to the buyer or appraiser.

6.  Location, location, location

When you turn to your right, you see a wonderful view of the mountains. When you turn to your left, you see the tire repair shop next door. The view will not make up for the repair shop in value. There's not much you can do about this, except perhaps to plant trees and build a screening wall. Still, don't expect to be valued as high as a home without this type of location factor.

You can't always know what you're "house blind" to. Before selling or refinancing, you can call me for a walk-through. I'll point out areas where you could make changes, based on the likelihood of something being a pricing factor. You know where to reach me!


I help people sell homes. Call me for an appointment to discuss your steps. There's never any obligation… just solid information.

Post a comment