Preparing For An Appraisal
A real estate appraisal is the cornerstone to buying or selling any home. Appraisals allow the property transactions to occur among the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage lender.
Before an appraiser arrives, there are at least two things to keep in mind. First, an appraiser must be state licensed to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions. Also, a homeowner is entitled to receive a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lender. Both of these are items are written into federal law.
To facilitate the appraisal process, it’s beneficial to have certain documents ready for the appraiser, including:
- A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available)
- Information on the latest purchase of the property in the last three years
- Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway
- List of personal property to be sold with the home (if applicable)
- Title policy that describes encroachments or easements
- Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, synthetic stucco wall systems, septic systems, and wells
- A list of major home improvements and upgrades from the past 5 years, the date of their installation, their cost, and building permits (if required)
- A copy of the current listing agreement and broker’s data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is “pending”
- Information on “Homeowners Associations” or condominium covenants and fees
- A list of “Proposed” improvements if the property is to be appraised “As Complete”
Once your appraiser has arrived, there is no need to accompany him, but you should be available to answer questions about your property and be willing to point out any home improvements.
Here are a few other suggestions:
- Be sure that all areas of the home are accessible, including the attic and crawl space. Having a ladder ready for the attic is especially helpful
- Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim
- If your borrower is applying for an FHA/VA loan, be sure to ask your appraiser if there are specific things that should be done before they come.
Some items they may recommend might include:
- Install smoke detectors on all levels (especially near bedrooms)
- Install handrails on all stairways
- Remove peeling paint and repaint the effected area.
For further assistance please consult: Sample Appraisal