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Do I Need to Clean My House Before the Appraisal Inspection?

Perhaps there is a contract on your house. You are in the middle of packing. Boxes are everywhere and you get a notification that the appraiser is coming to perform an inspection of the home. Do you panic? Do you need to put everything away so that your home is again "show ready"?

We often get this question. When appraisers come to your home we are looking just at your home and not the contents inside. We will be looking at the condition or your home. What is the type of construction for the walls? What type of flooring? What type of appliances are in place? Is there evidence of structural issues? Is there evidence of water damage? What is the condition of the roof? What additional features or amenities does your home have? Has the home had updates, which updates and how recent.

That being said, we do suggest that you pick up enough that we can see these things. We cannot report that the flooring is in good condition if we cannot see the floor. We do have to have access to every room in your home, so don't throw everything into one room and not let us in that room. Please realize that we will be taking pictures of every room in your house and these pictures are a part of the report.

Here are some things that you can do to help with the inspection and appraisal:

1. Tidy up enough so that we can see your house. Your house doesn't need to be spotless but picked up enough so that we can make our observations. We'll need to be able to see such things as the floors and countertops. For FHA appraisals, the attic and crawl space need to be accessible to the appraiser. Here are some examples:

Not preferred- What condition would you give the countertops?

Okay -in the process of moving, can still assess the condition

Best Example- It is easy to see that items are in good condition

2. Please don't follow the appraiser around , hovering over our shoulder constantly asking us questions or pointing things out. When we are going from room to room we are making observations and noting items, we are not only recording items such as type of flooring but also noting the condition of each item. If you are right there talking, it is a distraction and we can sometimes miss something. We always like to speak with the homeowner at the beginning and end of the inspection for any questions or information you would like to give us.

3. Have a list of repairs, updates or rennovations that have been done and approximately dates. Example: New Roof in 2010; New flooring in 2012; New fixtures in 2013, etc. This information is helpful to the appraiser.

4. If you have additional information that would be helpful, such as nearby sales or reasons that you bought the property feel free to share that information as well.

Here are some additional helpful resources:

Helping Borrowers/Sellers Know What to Expect in an Appraisal Inspection- DW Slater Company Blog

What you SHOULD expect from your appraiser during the property inspection -Birmingham Appraisal Blog

What should you do before the appraiser comes?- Sacramento Appraisal Blog

We hope this information was helpful to you. If you have any questions about an appraisal or appraisal inspection please contact us at

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. The information is meant entirely for educational purposes and casual reading only and is NOT intended for any other use. This information is NOT intended to support an opinion of value for your appraisal needs or any sort of value conclusion for a loan, litigation, tax appeal or other potential real estate or non real estate purpose. If you’d like to obtain additional information or order an appraisal for your specific needs, please contact us at

Image courtesy of radnatt at

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