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 your appraiser arrives, there are a few things you should know. By law, an appraiser must be state licensed to perform appraisals prepared for federally governed 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:
- A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available)
- Information on the most recent purchase of the property (in the last three years)
- Written property agreements, e.g., 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 your Homeowners Association or condominium covenants and related 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 as he/she works.
Here are some other suggestions:
FHA/VA Inspection Item.
If your borrower is applying for an FHA/VA loan, be sure to ask your appraiser if there are specific tasks that should be completed before they come. Some tasks they may recommend include 1) installing smoke detectors on all levels (especially near bedrooms), 2) installing handrails on all stairways, 3) removing peeling paint and repainting the affected area, and 4) providing easy inspection access to the attic and crawl spaces.