How to Prepare for an Appraisal
For homeowners, a real estate appraisal is the linchpin to buying or selling their home. It allows the property transactions to occur among the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage lender.
Before an Appraiser arrives, there are a few things you should know. By law, an appraiser must be state licensed to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions. Also by law, you are entitled to receive a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lender.
To facilitate the appraisal process, it's beneficial to have these documents ready for the appraiser, but are not necessary:
- A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available)
- Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, septic systems and wells
- Brag sheet that lists major home improvements and upgrades, the date of their installation and their cost (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available)
- A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".
- A list of "Proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "As Complete".
Once your appraiser has arrived, you do not need to accompany him or her along on the entire site inspection, but you should be available to answer questions about your property and be willing to point out any home improvements.
Here are some other suggestions:
- Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can help.
- Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.