Prepare for an Appraisal
To prepare for an appraisal, be sure you do the following:
- Provide Access
Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, including the garage and any outbuildings. The homeowner does not have to be present for the inspection: other arrangements for access can be made in advance with the appraiser.
Many people worry that they need to have their home spotless for an appraisal. In fact, you can relax! A little cleaning and picking up can't hurt, but don't get carried away. Appraisers see many homes in a year and tend to look past clutter. Except in extreme cases, cleaning has little impact on the appraiser's final opinion of value.
- Special Features and Conditions of the Home
Tell the appraiser the things that make your home special or unusual, both in terms of its assets and its deficiencies. Have you done any upgrades or remodeling (when? what? how much did they cost)? Your best recollection is fine. If the house has an addition that is not part of the original structure, is there a county building permit? How old are the roof, the appliances, the flooring? Do you have any ongoing remodeling projects? Does the home lack features that are expected or common in the area? For example, is one bathroom out of order? Does the living room ceiling leak? Does it lack a garage? Any advance information you can provide in this regard will increase the speed of the appraisal and help control your costs.
- Homeowners' Association?
If your home is part of a homeowners' association, tell the appraiser its name, phone number, dues, and the benefits that you receive from being part of the organization.
If this is a purchase transaction, the appraiser will collect all contract information through the lender. If this is a refinance or other sort of appraisal, provide the appraiser with any documentation you may have from a recent purchase or remodel. If you have them, floor plans will be a great help. Ask if you have any questions.