Prepare your home for Appraisal

How can you prepare your home for appraisal?


Prepare for your home appraisal like you would for a home sale. You are in essence re-selling your home. Make sure all the maintenance you can do is done; this includes clearing and trimming the yard to painting the house – hopefully most of this was already done for the sale and should at most need only a minor touch up. Be polite to the appraiser and give them full access to your home; work with them not against. Inform the appraiser of your home improvements. Let them know about the new windows, new floors, the finished basement, etc. And finally, don't be caught off guard. Do your homework! Know what similar homes are selling for in your neighborhood. This is something that should be done before setting your selling price. But in case your home has been on the market for a month or two, keep your research current. Let the appraiser know about similar homes and what they have sold for, especially if you know why a particular home that is like yours sold for less let them know why your house is different.

To facilitate the appraisal process, it's beneficial to have these documents ready for the appraiser:  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    Title policy that describes encroachments or easements    Most recent real estate tax bill and or legal description of the property    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".    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, 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: Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can translate into a higher home value Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim FHA/VA Inspection Items: 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 be: Install smoke detectors on all levels (especially near bedrooms); install handrails on all stairways; remove peeling paint and repaint the affected area; provide inspection access to the attic and crawl spaces.