The Top 10 Things to do to Prepare for an Appraisal

Reblogger Chuck Carstensen
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Results

For sellers who get a contract on their home a big big part in getting to closing is making sure the appraisal works out.  Here is a Top 10 list that will help you be ready for the appraisal by expert Michael Bolton.

Original content by Michael S. Bolton

How To Prepare for a Home Appraisal

Preparing for an appraisal inspectionYou’ve just signed all of the paperwork for your refinance, handed the loan officer the check for the appraisal, and now you’re wondering what is going to happen next. Good news-the appraisal inspection is painless, and usually takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes to complete. However, there are a few things that you should do to help the process move along as smooth as possible.


Preparing for the appraisal inspection:Appraisal checklist of what to do for an appraisal

  • Create a detailed list of the recent improvements, which should include the following: when completed, cost of the improvement, before and after pictures if available.
  • Make sure each room is accessible; the appraiser is required to inspect each room.
  • If there is a crawl space, this area will also have to be made accessible for inspection for an FHA appraisal.
  • Give the appraiser room to do their job. Errors are more likely to occur when the appraiser isn’t able to concentrate on their inspection.
  • Keep all pets restrained. I’ve been bitten twice by a dog, and once by a cat; the owners had assured me that their pets were friendly-not so much!
  • If you live within a development that has a homeowners association, have the name and phone number of the contact person available, along with a fee statement.
  • If the appraisal is for an FHA loan, then the area leading to the attic will have to be cleared and made accessible-the appraiser is required to make at least a head and shoulders inspection of the attic area.
  • Walk through each room and straighten up as if you were getting ready for company to visit. Appraisers are objective and can look past many things, however, the underwriter reviewing the appraisal photos may feel differently.
  • Complete any unfinished projects-most appraisals are done “as is”, and any projects that haven’t been completed, will have to be adjusted for within the appraisal report.
  • A copy of any agreements regarding easements (shared driveways and/or garages,etc.) should be made available.

Concerns about value:

House and concern about valueFor years I’ve been a big proponent of developing a relationship with a Realtor. I’m not talking about a real estate agent who happens to be a relative that lives half way across the state. I’m talking about one that does a lot of work within your neighborhood.

By building a relationship with a professional Realtor (this is all they do and they do it well), they’ll be able to give you great insight as to what’s happening within your neighborhood, and they would be glad to let you know what similar homes are selling for.

 

Once the appraisal is complete:

You have a right to a copy of your appraisal, so ask for it. If you should find any errors or have any concerns, talk with your loan originator. This is hard for borrowers to understand, being that they paid for the appraisal, but the mortgage company is the appraiser’s client, and they can’t discuss the appraisal with anyone else unless given permission.

Trying to understand an appraisal can be like trying to read the “Dead Sea Scrolls,” so ask questions and get clarification when needed-you paid for it!

If you have any questions, or Minnesota real estate appraisal needs (divorce, bankruptcy, tax appeal, or estate planning) please contact Michael at 612.599-2581, or use the form on the contact page.

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Rainmaker
994,814
Edward & Celia Maddox
Solutions Real Estate - Queen Creek, AZ
EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

Great appaisal check list.  Thanks for sharing blog on Active Rain.

Jan 03, 2012 11:06 AM #1
Rainer
424,726
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

The appraisal process needs to be looked at. Have heard too many complaints from appraisers. Banks are sending appraisers from 50+ miles away to appraise properties here. Not a good idea. No local knowledge. Its great to be ready for the appraisal with conditions..

Jan 03, 2012 11:12 AM #2
Rainmaker
295,454
Bud & Beth McKinney
RE/MAX UNITED - Cary, NC
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United

Thanks Chuck for this information.   I am going to share with my clients.   Good stuff.

Jan 03, 2012 11:16 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,812,865
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Everything shold be in better shape for the appraisal than it is even for a showing.  All repairs that need to be done should be done prior to the appraisal.

Jan 03, 2012 12:40 PM #4
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Rainmaker
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Chuck Carstensen

Minnesota Real Estate Expert
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