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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:

  • Upgrades 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 a kitchen remodel) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • Copies of permits for any additions to the home or amenities, such as a guest unit or swimming pool.
  • 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, as well as written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway.
  • A list of "Proposed" improvements and blueprints, if the property is to be appraised "Subject-To Completion".
  • Brochure and/or builder's sales sheet, if your home was recently purchased as a new construction (the base price that you paid for your home, as well as the cost of any builder upgrades or options will also be helpful).

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.
  • 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. As the appraiser will need to measure the exterior of your home, it is best to clear any obstructions (if possible) and not water the lawn just prior to the inspection. 
  • Facts about your home:  Is your home served by a septic system, well or propane tank?  Are there any significant factors about your home or neighborhood that you feel may impact the value?