Should I Make Repairs To My Home Before It’s Appraised?

To Repair Or Not To Repair

appraisal repairsI received a phone call this week from a reader of my appraisal blog. They told me that they are getting a home equity loan and the real estate appraiser is coming out next week.

They wanted to know if they should make repairs to their home before the appraiser comes out. This is a common question so I thought I would share with you in this weeks blog post how appraisers handle homes that need repairs.

Two Perspectives

There are actually two ways to look at this situation. From the appraiser’s perspective, the appraisal value of a home will take into consideration its current condition including the repairs that need to be made which is known as an as-is appraisal.

The second perspective you should consider is that of the lender. Mortgage loans secured with an FHA mortgage typically have the reputation of being the most strict.

While conventional loans are typically less strict as to the condition of the property, that has changed in the last several years. Numerous lenders that I do work for request that the appraisal be done subject to repairs.

Even though it is possible to do the appraisal with the home in its current condition most lenders do not want this. They want the home appraised subject to the repairs being made.

Keep in mind that there are varying degrees of repairs. If your home needs some minor touch up paint that is different than making more substantial repairs.

FHA vs Conventional

Here is a good rule of thumb for deciding whether to make repairs. If the appraisal is for an FHA loan it’s a good bet that you need to go ahead and make the repair especially if the repairs affect the safety, soundness, and security of the house.

For conventional loans, if the repair could potentially affect the appraisal value of the home it should be done. Examples of this include broken or damaged items in the plumbing, electrical, HVAC or structural components of the house.

Do the heating and cooling systems operate? Are there roof leaks? Does the plumbing system have leaks? Are there sparks or charred marks on electrical outlets? Are there foundation issues? These are all examples of items that should be repaired before the appraiser visits the property.

“Subject-To Appraisal”

If they are not repaired the appraiser will make the appraisal subject to these repairs and they will need to come back out to the property to do a final inspection which will increase the time and cost.

Please keep in mind that the guidelines I have described so far are for appraisals performed for banks or mortgage companies. If an appraisal is done for a private party then repairs do not necessarily have to be made.

If there are repairs that will affect the market value of the house then the appraiser will take this into consideration. Due to the difficulty with estimating repair costs when there is no contractor estimate appraisers usually give a value for the property subject to the repairs being made.


The main takeaways for repairs are who the appraisal is being performed for and the degree of repair item. If you have a question about whether you should make a repair before the appraiser visit’s your home leave a comment below and as always, thanks for reading.

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  1. I am having my home appraised, we recently had a leak that was repaired and the drywall patched, but I didn’t paint the spot yet as we will be changing the paint color. Will this negatively affect my value?

    • As long as you explain to the appraiser what happened you should be okay. We are more concerned with higher-cost repairs that will affect the market value of the property. With that being said, if you happen to have some of the same color paint and the area is not too big I would go ahead and paint it to avoid explaining everything. If you can’t do this and the area is small it should not have any impact on the value.

  2. I have a question…. I am in the process of buying my house with the CHFA First Buyer Program… The appraiser indicated that the entire exterior should be painted because the paint is peeling and in poor condition… the big problem is that It is very cold due to winter weather and it is not possible to paint outside…. Will this affect the closing? I don’t know what to do… I will be grateful for any help or comment

    • This is a great question that I have never heard before. From what I can tell the CHFA is a program in Colorado that promotes affordable housing and community development. We don’t have this in my area so I am not sure of the exact protocol that is used. I would check with the lending entity and their underwriters to see what they expect. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. We are refinancing for a lower rate and to replace our roof and some other small items. The bank will be sending out an appraiser soon. The current roof doesn’t have any leaks, but we do have some rotted spots on the fascia, a small spot where the siding is missing when we put in a smaller sliding glass door and we are redoing the kitchen, so the cupboard doors are currently off. I know the appraiser will have to mark these things down, but how likely is it to stop my conventional loan?

    • That would probably be a question to ask the lender. The appraiser will most likely appraise your home in its current condition and if the value is there I would not think it would be a problem. You say you are redoing the kitchen so that may have a bearing on whether the bank underwriters will want the appraisal done as-s or subject to. This is all something you should let the loan officer know so they can make the appropriate decisions.

  4. My husband and I are thinking about having our home appraised soon because we would like to sell it soon, and we want to make sure that we are selling in the right price range. Thanks for explaining that if a repair could affect the appraisal of your home, then it’s smart to have it done. We’ll have to look into what we should have repaired before we appraise our home so that we can make sure to get the right value for it.

  5. Zack Thompson says


    Currently, a portion of my kitchen vinyl floor had to be taken out due to a plumbing leak. The leak has been fixed, but the flooring still needs to be patched up (you can see the wood).

    Repairs are being delayed due to a minor insurance issue, but could I get an appraisal done without the floor repairs completed?

    • It can be done from an appraisal perspective, however you may want to ask the bank or loan officer if they will accept it. I have made appraisals in as-is condition in the past and made adjustments for the work to be done but then the bank comes back and wants the appraisal done subject to completion of the repairs. If this is the case the appraiser would just need to do a final inspection when the work is done and let the bank know. I hope this helps.

  6. My home is being sold “as is”. The buyer offered over asking price, with assistance that would bring it down to full price.
    There will be no inspection but an appraisal. There is an issue which I disclosed, of a leaking window frame in the back when it rains and the wood is rotting. It was seen by the buyer during the house showing. My question is should I address this before or after the appraisal?

    • It depends on what the bank wants and if it is an FHA loan. If it is an FHA loan it will need to be repaired and it would be better to do it before the appraisal to avoid closing delays. If it is not FHA the bank may be okay with the appraisal to be done in as-is condition. Banks vary as to what their requirements are. To avoid potential problems it might be best to fix it upfront before the appraisal. Hope this helps.

  7. Lyle Austin says

    I am going to refinance my home and take cash out to remodel kitchen. There was a leak that had been repaired, however, there was some damage done to flood. I will repair floor during remodel. Will floor damage reflect the appraised value? Or should I make repairs to floor first?


    Hi, I am yet to schedule for an appraisal for refinancing my house and I just realized that there is a leak in the bathtub. The leak is not evident in my house. As I stay in second floor, only my downstairs neighbor can spot the leak through his sealing. Should I get this fixed before the appraiser? Or should I let plumbing company workout the fix and then schedule appraisal ?

    • I would recommend getting it fixed before the appraiser comes out because if you do not the appraiser will notice it and write it up in the report which will effect its value. Also, if you wait it will probably hold up your loan and you will have to get it fixed anyway.

  9. Nice job Tom. Like many answers we give, this really does depend on the situation. I find glaring condition issues ought to be cured if they’re blatant violations that will in no way pass for financing. Yet to be fair sometimes I’ve told owners to be ready to move on the repair very quickly if it is called out (it should be), but if it isn’t called out for some reason then you don’t have to do it. Some appraisers may not be as thorough as they need to be unfortunately. Right or wrong, that’s a real dynamic. Yet owners would still be wise to consider the market at hand. In my area there is actually a shortage of skilled labor, so waiting to do repairs can become a huge issue because of how difficult it is to find someone to do the repairs.

    • You bring up some very good points. Some appraisers may not note repairs that should be performed. I just did an appraisal where there was some peeling paint. The sellers had purchased the home last year with FHA financing and the appraiser did not catch it so it was still there. I have heard similar stories about skilled labor. It is very difficult to get things done on short notice so taking care of this ahead of time is critical.

  10. Agathe Gilles says

    I want to refinance my home The mortgage company sent appraiser out the home value came back at 816,000.00. My loan is only 126K. The appraiser is requesting repairs to be made for 5000$.Is that is possible.?

    • Yes, that is possible. The appraiser’s job is to just report what they see. It could be the bank that wants the appraisal to be done subject to the repairs.

    • I am refinancing for a lower interest rate. But I’m Renovating the upstairs and downstairs of the house. It’s all complete except for painting staining doors and some plastering should I get an appraisal would it affect the outcome of my Appraisal. Note all newelectric new heater new water heater plumbing good that’s my only issue. Also just installed a new bathroom

      • I would ask the lender to see what their underwriting policy is. From an appraiser’s perspective, we can appraise it as is and take into account the small amount of work to be done. It might have a small impact. You also need to take into consideration what you need the house to appraise for to make the transaction work. If you are just going to refinance the loan balance it may not matter too much.


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