Preparing for an appraisal from Shirley Snyder, SRA

By law, you, as a borrower, are are entitled to obtain a copy of the final appraisal report from the lender. Contact us if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

To make your appraisal process go as smoothly as possible we generally recommend to have these documents, if available, ready for the appraiser:

  • A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if available).

  • Records on the latest purchase of the property in the last three years.

  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement 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 lists encroachments or easements.

  • Most recent real estate tax bill and or legal description of the property.

  • Any inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, your septic system and your well.

  • Brag sheet that lists major home improvements and enhancements, the date of their installation and their cost (for example, the addition of insulation 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.

  • 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 escort him or her along on the entire site inspection, but generally you'll want to be available to answer inquiries about your property and be willing to point out any home improvements.

Here are a few other tips:

  • Accessibility: Appraisers are very meticulous in their inspections. 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 impression can translate into a higher home value.

  • Maintenance: We often recommend fixing minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.

  • FHA and VA Inspection Items: If your borrower is trying to apply for either an FHA or VA loan, be sure to ask your appraiser if there are additional things that should be done before they come. Some things they may recommend might be: installing smoke detectors on all levels and especially near bedrooms, removing and touching up where there's paint peeling, repairing any faucets that leak or drip, replacing broken glass.