For homeowners, a real estate appraisal is the essential element to buying or selling their home. It allows the property transactions to occur among the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage lender.
Before an Appraiser arrives, there are a few things you should know. By law, an appraiser must be state licensed to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions. Also by law, you are entitled to receive a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lender. Your appraiser can not provide a copy of the report to you if the order came from a lender without written permission.
To facilitate the appraisal process, it's beneficial to have these documents ready for the appraiser:
- A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available).
- Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway.
- List of personal property to be sold with the home.
- Title policy that describes encroachments or easements, if applicable.
- 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 date of their installation and their cost (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
- A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending". This is usually provided by the agent.
- Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees. Primarily the management company’s name, contact person and phone number.
- A list of "Proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "As Complete".
Once your appraiser has arrived, 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 be willing to point out any home improvements.
Here are some other suggestions:
- Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space.
- Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can translate into a higher home value.
- Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.
- FHA/VA Inspection Items: If your borrower is applying for an FHA/VA loan, be sure to ask your appraiser if there are specific things that should be done before they come. Some items they may recommend might be: Install smoke detectors on all levels (especially near bedrooms); install handrails on all stairways; remove peeling paint and repaint the affected area; provide inspection access to the attic and crawl spaces. Install a vapor barrier in the crawl space.
About the Author: Robert Koppes is the owner of KT Appraisal Services, LLC and is a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser with the State of Georgia (License # CR004733). He holds the CREA designation from the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers and also holds the MRA designation from the National Association of Master Appraisers. Robert has been an appraiser since 1994. Robert’s areas of specialty include valuation of properties in the 20 county Metro Atlanta area with emphasis on Conventional and FHA funding and consultation and valuation of foreclosure properties. He can be reached at 678-254-4050 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Van Purser and his wife Jeanne are a licensed Real Estate Brokers in Georgia. Since1984 they successfully purchased and renovated over 400 homes. Their expertise is in representing Buyers or Sellers as an advocate; which means always ensuring their best interest. Additionally, they represented hundreds of clients over the years as an Associate Broker with Metro Brokers, RE/Max and now with his own firm. He and his wife, Jeanne, have been married since 1977. Van or Jeanne can be reached at 770-623-3313, or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.