Your Complete Guide To Help You Prepare For a Home Appraisal

Preparing for a home appraisal can feel intimidating for homeowners. Whether you’re looking to sell your house for the best price or simply aiming to resolve issues with your property. 

Understanding how to navigate the home selling process, with guidance from a top real estate agent, is essential.

In this complete guide on preparing for a home appraisal process, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. So you can make sure a successful home appraisal is made specifically for the state of Virginia.

How to Prepare Your House for a Home Appraisal in Virginia

Preparation is key when getting your house appraised, especially with guidance from estate sales professionals. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare your house for sale and a successful appraisal in Virginia:

Research the Marketplace

Before the licensed appraiser arrives, gather information about recent sales of similar properties in your area, with insights from local auction partners and input from your rocket mortgage lender.

Understanding the local market can help you set a competitive price that accounts for things like the buyer’s closing costs.

Look at comparable homes’ prices, features, and conditions. 

Fix Needed Cosmetic Repairs

Address minor cosmetic issues that can impact your home’s appearance. Repair chipped paint, replace broken tiles, fix leaky faucets, and make sure all light fixtures are functional. 

A well-maintained home leaves a positive impression on the appraiser.

Fix Major Repairs

While cosmetic repairs matter, major structural issues can significantly affect your home’s value. 

Address any significant problems, such as a leaking roof, faulty electrical wiring, or plumbing issues. Fixing these will demonstrate that your home is in good condition.

Making Renovations on Your House in Virginia

Consider strategic major renovations that can boost your home’s appraised value and maximize the average cost recouped. Focus on areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, and home’s curb appeal. 

Upgrading appliances, countertops, or flooring can make a difference. Consult with a quality real estate agent or contractor to determine the best investments to boost your home’s appraised value, considering the home appraisal cost.

Keep It Clean and Tidy

A clutter-free home allows the appraiser to assess its true property size and features. Declutter rooms, organize closets, and clean thoroughly.

Pay attention to both the interior and exterior spaces. Trim the lawn, maintain landscaping, and ensure the overall presentation is inviting.

Make Your House Bright and Airy

Having as much natural light as possible can make a big difference in how spacious and inviting your home feels. Before the appraisal, make sure to open up curtains or blinds to let in as much sunlight as possible. 

Also, consider using light-colored paint on walls to make rooms appear larger and brighter. This simple trick can help create a more appealing atmosphere.

Maximize Your Space to Its Full Potential

Highlight the functionality of each room. Arrange furniture to showcase the room’s purpose. 

If you have unused spaces, consider staging them as a home office, reading nook, or exercise area. 

Use this appraisal checklist to ensure you’ve covered all the necessary steps to prepare your home for successful home appraisals in Virginia.

Home Appraisal Do’s and Don’ts

When preparing for a home appraisal in Virginia, keep these essential home appraisal tips of do’s and don’ts in mind:


  • Research the Marketplace: Gather information about recent sales of similar properties in your area. Understand local market trends to provide context for your property value.
  • Address Cosmetic Repairs: Fix minor cosmetic issues like chipped paint, broken tiles, and leaky faucets. A well-maintained appearance leaves a positive impression.
  • Fix Major Structural Issues: Address significant problems such as a leaking roof, faulty wiring, or plumbing issues that might lead to home inspection fails. Demonstrating good condition is crucial.
  • Consider Strategic Renovations: Upgrade areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, and curb appeal. Consult with experts to determine the best investments.
  • Keep It Clean and Tidy: Declutter rooms, organize closets, and clean thoroughly. Pay attention to both interior and exterior spaces.
  • Maximize Natural Light: Open curtains and blinds during the appraisal. Well-lit rooms feel more spacious and inviting.
  • Highlight Room Functionality: Arrange furniture to showcase each room’s purpose. Utilize every square foot effectively.


  • Don’t Neglect Research: Skipping market research can lead to inaccurate expectations.
  • Avoid Ignoring Cosmetic Repairs: Small issues can add up and affect your home’s perceived value.
  • Don’t Overlook Major Repairs: Structural problems can significantly impact favorable appraisal results.
  • Avoid Overpersonalizing Renovations: Focus on home improvements that appeal broadly to potential buyers.
  • Don’t Present a Cluttered Home: A messy space can distort the appraiser’s assessment.
  • Avoid Dark or Dimly Lit Rooms: Lack of natural light can make rooms appear smaller.
  • Don’t Waste Unused Space: Showcase functionality even in less-used areas.

Keep in mind that its condition and market presentation influence more than a third of your property’s higher appraisal value.

Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Your Home Appraised

When preparing for a home appraisal, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can affect the outcome. 

Firstly, don’t overlook the importance of researching recent sales and market trends to set realistic expectations. 

Secondly, address any needed minor repairs, whether they’re cosmetic touch-ups or more significant fixes, as they can impact your home’s value. Be mindful of how you invest in renovations; not all upgrades provide a substantial return on investment. 

Plus, make sure a neat and clean home is clutter-free, as a cluttered space can hide its true features and size. Managing the stress of selling a house can also feel like a lot, but taking action to get ready for the appraisal can ease some of that worry.

Your Complete Guide To Help You Prepare For a Home Appraisal

Things to Look Out For During a Home Appraisal

During the home appraisal, keep an eye on these important factors, like the comparable properties:

Comparable Sales

Comparables, also known as “comps,” are houses nearby that are a lot like yours. Normally, comps will have:

  • The bedrooms in your entire house are the same number.
  • Located in a similar area to your house
  • About the same property size in total square footage as your house
  • Around the same age as your house
  • A similar kind of house

Check out comps to get a better idea of how much your house might be worth and if you might get a good appraisal. You can also use this info to argue against your appraisal if the final number is lower than expected.

Visit your local real estate offices or their website to review properties sold in the last 6 months. You can also use online real estate sites to compare properties in your area. 

Upgrades and Renovations

Highlight any recent renovations or upgrades to the home. Provide documentation, such as receipts or permits, to support the appraised value of these home improvements.

Focus on upgrades that add the most value, for example, kitchen or bathroom remodels or energy-efficient upgrades.

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is important for leaving a positive impression on both the home appraiser and potential buyers. There are plenty of affordable ways to enhance your home’s exterior. You can complete many of these tasks in just a few hours.

Simple tasks like laying new mulch, planting flowers, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and trimming bushes can greatly improve your home’s appearance. 

Plus, clear sidewalks and driveways add to a clean and safe presentation. Consider touching up exterior paint to highlight architectural features for more impactful changes. The aim is to demonstrate to house appraisers that your home’s exterior is as well-maintained as its interior.

Room Sizes and Layout

Measure each room carefully to ensure accuracy in reporting square footage. Highlight unique features or functionality that may add value to the home, like a fireplace, bay window, or built-in shelving.

Arrange furniture to showcase each space’s full potential and help the appraiser visualize the layout.

Declutter for Overall Cleanliness

While appraisers understand a “lived-in look,” decluttering helps them work better as they take pictures and measurements. 

Focus on key areas like:

  • Bedroom: Store clothing properly and consider donating unused items for a cleaner space.
  • Kitchen: Clear the sink and store dishes. Move rarely used appliances off countertops to create space.
  • Living room: Keep surfaces clear of clutter like magazines and pare down extra pillows and blankets.


Knowing how to prepare for a home appraisal in Virginia might seem really hard. But still, with the right approach, you can access free expert advice from top real estate agents or estate sales professionals. You can maximize your property’s value and ensure a smooth open market sale process, even if you’re aiming for a fast or slow sale.

Conduct thorough research, address necessary repairs and renovations, and maintain a clean and organized home, and you’ll be well-equipped to receive a fair market value. Whether you’re in Chesapeake or Norfolk, Virginia Cash Home Buyers can help streamline the home sale process with their expertise in cash-for-home operations.

With their expertise, you can confidently sell your house in Norfolk or any other area in Virginia. Also, we buy houses in Chesapeake, so if you’re considering selling your property in this area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

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