How to prepare for an appraisal?

There are a few things that every homeowner can do prior to the appraiser’s arrival to help make the process more efficient.

  1. 1. Clean the property: inside and outside. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it will typically help the homeowner feel more relaxed about having a stranger walk through their home taking pictures.  
  3. 2. Make sure that all safety equipment is working. E.g.: smoke alarms, home security alarm, carbon monoxide alarm.  This is a good idea to put on your calendar at regular intervals just to ensure your home and family are protected.
  5. 3. Inspect the property before the appraisal for any damage or deferred maintenance items.  The appraiser will walk around the exterior of the home first while measuring and inspecting the outside while noting the condition as well as any items that need repair or would have an impact on the value.
  7. 4. Declutter if possible.  Once the appraiser has completed the exterior observations, they will move to the interior.  Typically, the observation will begin at the front door and will progress through each room of the house, with the appraiser taking photos and making note of the quality and condition of floor coverings, lighting fixtures, appliances, walls, windows, etc.  The appraiser is also identifying any items that may add or detract from the value.  If the homeowner has decluttered it makes it easier for the appraiser to have an unobstructed view of the improvements.
  9. 5. Schedule the appointment at a time when the house is not full of people if possible.  Appraisers cannot have people in their pictures so talk with your appraiser about a time when the family will not be inconvenienced by the appraiser trying to take photos.  Pets are absolutely ok to be in photos, and our appraisers love meeting all of the furry friends.
  11. 6. Note all the upgrades and renovations they’ve done. The appraiser will ask questions of the homeowner with regard to renovations, additions, amenities or known defects.  
  12. They can make note of any special amenities in their area like parks, schools, or stores. Appraiser’s must be geographically competent in any area where they work, however, the homeowner has first hand knowledge of why their neighborhood or community is special.
  14. 7. Understand that if the appraisal is being completed for a lending transaction, the appraiser’s client is technically the lender, even though the homeowner is typically paying for the appraisal through the process of their loan.  The homeowner is entitled to receive a copy of the appraisal, but it will come through their lender.
  16. 8. The appraiser cannot discuss value with the homeowner.  As previously stated, the lender is typically the client on a lending appraisal, therefore, the appraiser can only discuss value with the client.  The homeowner should not tell the appraiser what they think their home is worth, or what value they are looking for to get their loan. 

While the appraiser is observing the property for all of the interior and exterior finishes, quality and condition, it is important to remember that they are only inspecting the “real property”.  The items that are a permanent part of the improvements are considered in the appraisal process.  The personal property or any movables are not taken into consideration in the valuation process for real estate.  I always tell my clients that unmade beds or dirty dishes won’t have an impact on the value

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