Some helpful tips to speed your appraisal along from Kenny G. Adams, SRA

By law, an appraiser must be licensed by the state to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions. Contact us if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

To aid the appraisal process, it's recommended to have these documents ready for the appraiser:

  • A survey or plot map of the property and building (if readily available).

  • Any records on the purchase of the property for the last three years.

  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance easement for a shared driveway.

  • A list of any personal property that will be left behind and sold with the home, such as an oven, or a washer and dryer.

  • 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 enhancements, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of energy efficiency upgrades or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).

  • Locate copies of the current listing agreement, broker's data sheet and, if the sale is "pending", the purchase agreement.

  • Any "Homeowners Associations" agreements or, if applicable, condo agreements or fees.

  • A list of "suggested" improvements if the property is to be appraised "as complete".

When the appraiser arrives, you do not need to accompany him or her along on the entire site inspection, but generally you'll want to be available to answer questions about your property and identify any home improvements.

Here are a few other helpful suggestions:

  • Accessibility: Appraisers are very detailed in their inspections. Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially the attic and crawl space.

  • Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and aren't surprised at seeing a bit of clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can translate into a better value for your home.

  • Maintenance: We often recommend 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 specific things that should be done before they arrive. Some things they may recommend might be: having a banister on all stairways, ensuring there are electrical receptacles in every room and that each receptacle works, eliminating pull-chain lights in areas other than the basement or attic.