Bella, I was not saying that alluding to the fact that your house was not neat, just that an appraiser can see past decorating. Most agents that I know have not seen an actual appraisal until I give them a seminar on appraisals. As loan officers, most of us look at every appraisal that comes in. THere are certain things that make a big difference to a buyer, but make no difference to an appraiser. I am sure that your house sold faster because it was staged. I agree totally that a nicely decorated house has a much better chance of selling quickly. I even have pet peeves about people who don't make sure that the fingerprints are wiped off the walls, or have kitchen cabinets that don't close properly. Because I have done a fair share of brokers open houses, and have helped realtors out at open houses, I have seen all kinds of things. One person even had a bag of garbage on the kitchen floor during an open house. You have clearly taken a lot of time to make sure your house looks as good as it can.
Neil, I recently had an appraisal come in short. I took a look at the comps that the appraiser used, and realized that he gave the exact same square footage to this one as to 2 other houses in the neighborhood. This one had an extension added to the kitchen, so I realized that it was quite unlikely that the other homes had the same addition. When we brought that to the attention of the appraiser, he adjusted accordingly and brought it in at value. He could make ocmments about the custom kitchen, but a new kitchen from Home Depot doesn't appraise out any different than a custom kitchen, assuming they both have granite countertops.