To speed the appraisal process along as quickly as possible we generally recommend to have these documents, if available, ready for the appraiser:
- A plot map and/or survey of the house and land (if available).
- Written property agreements, such as a maintenance easement for a shared driveway.
- List of personal property to be sold with the home.
- Any documents, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.
- 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 enhancements, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of insulation or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
- A copy of the current listing agreement with broker’s data sheet and purchase agreement if a sale is “pending”.
- Information on “Homeowners Associations” or condominium covenants and fees.
- A list of “suggested” improvements when the property is being appraised “as complete”.
When the appraiser arrives, 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 identify any home improvements.
Here are some other helpful recommendations:
- Accessibility: Appraisers are very detailed in their inspections. You should make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially the attic and crawl space.
- Housekeeping: Appraisers see quite a few of homes a year and aren’t surprised at seeing a bit of clutter, but they’re human beings too! A good impact can translate into a better home value.
- Maintenance: We generally suggest fixing minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.
- FHA and VA Inspection Items: In the case of your borrower trying to apply for either an FHA or VA loan, definitely ask your appraiser if there are extra things that should be done before they arrive. Some things they may recommend might be: installing a banister on all stairways, ensuring there are electrical receptacles in every room and that each receptacle functions, eliminating pull-chain lights in areas other than the basement or attic