How to Prepare for an Appraisal

Real Estate Appraiser with Aaron Appraisal Commercial (General) & Residential Appraiser



For homeowners, a real estate appraisal is the linchpin to buying or selling their home. It allows

the property transactions to occur among the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage


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.

To facilitate the appraisal process, it's beneficial to have these documents ready for the


• 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

• Title policy that describes encroachments or easements

• Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for septic systems wells etc.

• List 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 Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".

• Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.

• A comprehensive list of "Proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "As

Complete".(renovation or new construction)

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!

• Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim etc.

• FHA Inspection Items: If the owner/borrower is applying for an FHA 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

effected area; provide inspection access to the attic and crawl space.


Comments (2)

Larry Wright
nwRealty.Com - Tacoma, WA
Great information James.  I'm watching out for market stagnation and how it will effect appraised values.
Aug 17, 2007 03:20 AM

Thanks Larry !

 I am hoping that the Fed will step in before things go beyond stagnation.

Aug 17, 2007 04:38 AM