How to Prepare for an Appraisal Inspection
For homeowners, a real estate appraisal is the linchpin to buying, selling, or refinancing their home. It allows the property transactions to occur among the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage lender.
Before the Appraiser arrives, there are a few things you should know. By law, the 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, here is a typical list of some of the actions performed by the appraiser during a typical inspection of a property, as well as a few items to have ready for the appraiser:
- The appraiser will photograph the street as well as the front, rear, and sides of the subject building.
- Any exterior structures on the subject property will also be photographed.
- The appraiser will measure the exterior of the subject, as well as the interior walls, so as to provide a basic layout of the interior space.
- The appraiser will photograph all of the rooms.
- Supply the appraiser any written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway.
- Inform the appraiser of any known encroachments or easements.
- Supply a "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).
- Supply any Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees. If the development is managed by an outside agency, please have their telephone number and address available.
- A list of "Proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "Subject to Completion".
Once the appraiser has arrived, you do not need to accompany him 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 including access to the attic and crawlspace (if available).
- Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression always helps.
- Maintenance: It's always good, but not necessary, to repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.
- The installation of CO detector(s) is the law in California. Click on this link for more information.