profile picture

English French Spanish

Some nice tips to speed your appraisal along from Veronica Whitman

By law, an appraiser must be state licensed to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions - i.e. transactions related to Freddie Mac, Office of Thrift Supervision and the like. Contact us if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

To speed the appraisal process along as quickly as possible we generally recommend to have these documents, if available, 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.

  • Information on any written private agreements, such as a shared driveway with a neighbor.

  • List of personal property to be sold with the building.

  • Any paperwork, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.

  • A bill for your most recent real estate taxes which should also contain a 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 upgrades, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of central air conditioning 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 "proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "as complete".

Once your appraiser has arrived, you do not need to escort them along on the entire site inspection, but generally you'll want to be present to answer inquiries about your property and be willing to point out any home improvements.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Accessibility: Appraisers are very meticulous in their inspections. We recommend that all areas of the home are accessible, especially the attic and crawl space.

  • Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and are no strangers to clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can mean a better value for your home.

  • Maintenance: We often 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, we strongly recommend to ask your appraiser if there are additional things that should be done before they arrive. Some things they may recommend might be: installing smoke detectors on all levels and especially near bedrooms, ensuring there are electrical receptacles in every room (note: GFI outlets are no longer required) and that each outlet works, fixing leaky or dripping faucets, replacing broken glass.