Should you Stage for an Appraiser?

Posted April 3, 2021 in Special Features

1330 N BLODGETT CT WASHOUGAL WA-2, Clark County WA real estate agent

When I list a home, I often hear homeowners tell me that they are thinking that they should do just a little more after the home is under contract for the benefit of the appraisal. I understand this feeling, but it’s best to trust the process your real estate professional puts forward. Here’s why:

Understanding that the appraiser is basically measuring the home may help to relax the idea that someone is coming to your home and will possibly make a difference in everything you are planning. It’s not necessary to be onsite during the appraisal as it often causes distractions from what the appraiser is doing.

It’s important that the house is presentable. But, the first most important part of entering into the appraisal process is that you have a knowledgeable agent who understands the value of your home. The appraiser’s task is to provide the home’s fair market value in an impartial manner. The appraiser doesn’t have to consider that the home might get a higher sale offer or that the home could be a better buy for a buyer. The appraiser’s job is to assist the lender that the property is at least worth what the buyer is paying. Additionally, the bank wants to know that the property could be resold for the amount being financed.

Here are a few things to know about appraisals and what they mean in the process:

  • Your agent is your best source for best understanding your home’s market value. Pricing your home correctly will help when a comparative market analysis is completed to look at your home in comparison to others of the same size, age, condition and similar location.
  • A high offer on a home doesn’t mean that you’ll get a higher appraisal. Buyers can always pay the difference as an option between a higher offer to win a property and what a property appraises for. Appraisals impact the final settlement in about three percent of cases according to national data.
  • Considering that a deep cleaning averages in cost just under $200, it makes sense to have a clean home even for the appraisal. If you only have time for a few cleaning tasks, wash windows, polish floors and declutter counters.
  • Be sure that the appraiser can get to storage areas within the home.
  • Do take care of the outside of the home before the appraisal. Appraiser’s often use Fannie Mae’s Uniform Residential Appraisal Report which includes photos of the front yard, backyard and a sketch of the exterior of the property.
  • If you’ve made improvements to the home, the appraiser may note the age of certain amenities. If you can show receipts for new kitchen cabinets or a new furnace, you may contribute to the overall value.
  • Most homeowners want to get the money back that they put into the home, but not every expense adds value. Maintenance of a home is expected. Upgrades to a home like landscaping adds value. Working with a real estate professional that you have a relationship with can help. Utilizing the full resources that a professional agent will help.
  • Your agent is fully prepared to represent you through the appraisal and will be there during the appraisal process. I am always prepared with the value supported information for the price of the home.

It does make sense to give the appraiser the same viewing that the buyer had during the showing; however, it is okay to start packing. Making the home presentable means that there are no pets present, you don’t have dirty dishes left around and you don’t have a pile of laundry sitting out. If you have packed up a few boxes, place them out of the way in a space dedicated to having packed items. Cleared space is always inviting.

Call me at 360.635.1121 to come take a look at how you can best prepare to list and to price your home. You can also email me at