How to Prepare for an Appraisal

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 (if readily available):

  • Floor plans
  • A plot plan or survey of the house and land
  • 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
  • Title policy that describes encroachments or easements
  • 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
  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.
  • A list of "Proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "As Complete".

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 translate into a higher home value
  • Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim
  • Make sure all necessary smoke detectors are installed and that there are carbon monoxide detectors within 10 feet of every bedroom.
  • FHA/VA Inspection Items: If your borrower is applying for an FHA/VA loan, there are safety hazards appraisers will be looking for. Some items they may require: provide inspection access to the attic, crawl space and electrical panel, install GFI outlets near water sources; repair broken windows if they are a safety hazard; remove peeling paint and repaint the effected area if the home was built before 1978.