7 Common Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid During a Real Estate Appraisal

Homeowners, Don’t Make These Appraisal Mistakes When Selling Your Home

As a real estate appraiser, I have seen many mistakes that sellers make during the appraisal process. These mistakes can significantly impact the value of a property and even lead to an appraisal being lower than the contract price.

Common Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid During a Real Estate Appraisal

In this blog post, I will discuss some of the most common mistakes sellers should avoid during a real estate appraisal.

Mistakes To Avoid

1) Failing to Prepare the Property
One of the most common mistakes that sellers make is failing to prepare the property for the appraisal inspection. A property that is cluttered, dirty, or in disrepair can negatively affect its value. As an appraiser, it is necessary to rate the condition of the properties and those that are not well-maintained or in poor condition will get a lower rating and typically appraise for less than those that have been taken care of.

It is important to make sure that the property is clean, organized, and well-maintained before the appraisal. While appraisers are more concerned with the structure of the house rather than housekeeping, if a house has not been kept up it can negatively impact the property’s overall condition.

2) Not Disclosing Information About the Property
Another mistake that sellers make is not disclosing information about the property. Sellers should be transparent about any issues with the property, such as previous damage, repairs, or renovations.

Providing information about updates or renovations can help the appraiser estimate effective age more accurately which will have a positive effect on the final opinion of value. As an appraiser, I rely on accurate and complete information to make an objective assessment of the property.

Be sure to provide the appraiser with any relevant documents or information about the property’s history. I always recommend creating a list of improvements as part of a property information packet that can be provided to potential buyers as well as the appraiser.

3) Not Being Present During the Appraisal
Some people believe that they should not be present during the visit by the appraiser. I do not agree with this because I like to ask the owner or seller about repairs or improvements that have been made to the home as well as other questions that may come up during the observation.

With that being said, the owner/seller should not try to influence the appraiser in any way. Appraisers are trained professionals who rely on objective data and analysis to determine a property’s value and sellers should not try to interfere with this but rather be there to answer any questions the appraiser has.

4) Listing The Property Too High
Sellers often overvalue their property, which can lead to unrealistic expectations and ultimately, a failed sale. It is essential to be realistic about the property’s value and take into account factors such as the location, market conditions, and the physical condition of the property.

Appraisers use a variety of methods to determine a property’s value, such as the sales comparison approach, the cost approach, and the income approach. Sellers who do not base their list price on current market data of similar sold and listed homes in the subject’s competitive market area may be the cause of the home appraising for less than the contract price.

5) Neglecting Curb Appeal
Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of a property from the street. Neglecting curb appeal is a common mistake that sellers make, which can impact the property’s value.

A property that looks unappealing from the street can give the impression that it is not well-maintained, which can reduce its perceived value. Sellers should consider investing in landscaping, cleaning up the yard, and making any necessary repairs to the exterior of the property to improve its curb appeal.

While these “curb appeal” items may not add significant value to the property it can help sway buyers to your property if everything else is equal.

6) Not Considering Recent Sales in the Area
Appraisers consider recent sales and listings in the area when determining a property’s value. Sellers should also take recent sales into account when pricing their property.

If similar properties in the area have sold for a lower price, the seller may need to adjust their price expectations accordingly. It is essential to do research on recent sales in the area and consult with a real estate professional to determine a fair price for the property.

7) Making Upgrades That Do Not Add Value
While upgrades can improve a property’s value, not all upgrades are created equal. Sellers should be cautious when making upgrades to their property and focus on upgrades that will add value.

Upgrades that do not add dollar-for-dollar value, such as excessive landscaping or high-end finishes, may not be worth the investment. Sellers should consult with a real estate professional to determine which upgrades will have the most significant impact on the property’s value.


Sellers should be aware of these common mistakes and take steps to avoid them during the appraisal process. Preparing the property, being transparent about its history, and trusting the appraiser’s expertise are crucial steps to obtaining an accurate appraisal.

Additionally, sellers should take into account factors such as curb appeal, recent sales in the area, and upgrades that add value. By avoiding these mistakes and working with a real estate professional, sellers can ensure a successful appraisal and sale of their property.

If you have any questions about the appraisal process feel free to contact me and as always thanks for reading.

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  1. Yeah, I prefer for someone to be present also. I have questions, and I definitely want to ask them. The questions I would ask an agent and owner are different too since they both have a different knowledge base.

    • Great point, Ryan. The agent and owner both have valuable information that the appraiser can use and I think it is important to have as much information as possible when doing an appraisal.


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