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Does a Messy House Affect an Appraisal?

Does a Messy House Affect an Appraisal? Let’s find out

Most homeowners are super busy and find themselves not being able to keep their homes in a model home state. However, what happens when you need an appraisal to sell your home? Does having a messy house affect an appraisal? Well, it all depends. Let’s dig in and find out what an appraisal is, standard practices, and what appraisers look for when evaluating a property. This will shed some light on whether or not having a messy house will affect the value of your home.

What Is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is an unbiased evaluation of a property by a professionally trained person who knows how to use market conditions, property comps, and other factors to come to an opinion of value. An appraiser may be called upon to evaluate homes, commercial property, collectibles, or antiques and for insurance purposes.

Appraisal standards

There is a generally recognized ethical, and performance standard for all appraisers in the United States. Also known as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The rules are enforced by the state in which the appraiser practices.

Professional appraisal associations also have the legal authority to enforce USPAP compliance by their members. In addition, many users of appraisal services (such as lenders, mortgage companies, etc.) have adopted USPAP and require employee or contract appraiser compliance to USPAP.

So, to put things simple they are rules that appraiser needs to follow in order to not lose their licensing. We are getting close to an answer, but this still doesn’t tell us if a messy house will affect an appraisal.

What are the main things an appraiser looks for?

We have a messy house, and we need to know what things an appraiser is looking for when evaluating a property. This list will give you the inside scope of what is being looked at as they walk through your home.

Quality of construction

What is the quality and construction of the home? Is the house made of brick or a wood frame? Is it a pier and beam or concrete slab? Most homeowners will typically pay more to buy a brick home on a concrete slab.
In most cases, a brick home will last much longer than its alternative. How is the construction of the home good or bad? An important question for an inspector to ask. Because some homes are built by homeowners and handymen.

Age of your home

This one is very simple on an appraisal inspection checklist. An appraiser needs to find out what the age of the home is. Was it built-in 1985 or 1923? They also need to know if the age, is in line with other properties in the neighborhood.
If the age is significantly different, the value of the home may be adjusted. You will find that most homeowners are willing to pay more for a newer home. The reason is the home is fairly new so all the major items such as the roof, HVAC system, electrical, plumbing, and foundation will last longer.


Condition of the home refers to the overall interior and exterior condition. Is the property in good standing where you can put it on the market tomorrow for top dollar. Or is the property distressed and in need of a lot of repairs. Most buyers will pay more for homes that are in move-in-ready condition. Distressed homes are typically sold below market value to investors and homeowners interested in a fixer-upper.

Design and Appeal

The design and appeal refer to the style of the home. Is it ranch-style, modern, contemporary, or Colonial? Is the layout in line with the neighborhood, and will it appeal to most buyers? This also covers the finishing details of the home (such as countertops, floors, and appliances)


Whether your home is in an urban, rural, or suburban area. Is the area having a lot of growth with new investments from the city or is it on the decline due to lack of funding.

The desirability of your neighborhood

Is your area sought after and is it in close proximity to employers, services, and public transportation access

Market conditions

Does the price or value of the property increase or decrease along with the market time and recent sales.

Special hazardous conditions

Whether your home is in an environment conducive to environmental hazards such as tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, etc.

HVACC system

Is the HVAC system working efficiently? An appraiser needs to check the type and age of the system. In general, most HVAC systems will last around 15 to 25 years depending on the type of system. Does the home have a central system or window units?

Home exterior

The appraiser will check the condition of the roof, foundation, siding, gutters, and overall condition of the home.


This list doesn’t cover everything an appraiser looks for but some of the most important ones. Evidently, we still don’t see any reason why a messy house will or could affect an appraisal. What are your thoughts? Does the cleanliness of a home affect an appraisal?

In my opinion, it should not affect the value of your home. What you may deem as messy might be clean for someone else. You can’t determine what a messy home is because we are all different.

A professional appraiser should be objective and not subjective. Within the standard practices for an appraiser, the value of a property shouldn’t be influenced by your personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

An appraisal needs to be objective, unbiased, and based on researchable data. It doesn’t consider whether or not you have clothes on the floor or haven’t mopped and vacuumed the carpet recently.
So, to answer the question does a messy house affect an appraisal? In my opinion, it shouldn’t because messy is considered subjective to your individual interpretation.

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