When buying a new house, many people just expect that it will last, or they know that they won't stay in the home for more than a set number of years. Some homes that are only 10 years old have cracks in ceilings where drywall was improperly joined; sinking foundations because the land was developed too quickly; or any number of building and property issues. Older homes, even those with solid construction or craftsmanship, generally have some dated details or obsolete features that don't factor as "selling points."
Whether new or old, home value in comparison to other properties is higher if a property has been well cared for and updated, and if it hasn't, there are some fixes a general contractor can address before an appraiser visits. Simple projects like repairing damaged drywall, painting rooms to add an illusion of height or to brighten them up, and polishing or refinishing wood detailing add qualities of care to a home that may factor into valuation. Getting estimates for any areas of a home that look worn or broken down helps narrow the field of contractors and handymen, and word-of-mouth often leads to finding the right person or people for the job.