Your Home, For Most People At Least, Is The Single Largest Financial Investment.
When having it appraised, for whatever reason, it is of the utmost importance, for the appraisal to be as accurate as possible.
The value found can be like a double edged sword. It will be to your advantage to have the value be accurate.
Too high and you could end up owing more than the property is actually worth, making it very difficult to sell or refinance (even if just to obtain a lower rate because of changes in the market or improvements to your credit score). A high appraised value might also eventually lead to higher real estate taxes. A low value might prevent you from being able to borrow against your real equity when needed.
So, what can you do to insure accuracy. It is generally not necessary to accompany the appraiser on their inspection of the property, however, there is no harm in asking the appraiser if he/she would like you to do so. It is important, however, that you remain available to answer any questions that might arise and assist the appraiser in obtaining access to utility areas, crawl spaces, basements, attics, garages, etc.
1. Provide the appraiser with a copy of your survey, all certificates of occupancy and any applicable permits ( for apartments, outbuildings etc. If there are any significant deed restrictions or easements, provide a copy of your deed or title documents. Copies of any applicable written property or community agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared/common driveway, shared amenities, beach, docking or mooring rights etc.
2. If the appraisal is for a sale, provide the appraiser with a list of all appliances, window treatments and any other items of personal property (fireplace or pool equipment, etc.) that is included.
3. Provide the appraiser with a copy of the most recent tax bill(s), including full details regarding any exemptions.
4. Provide the appraiser with detailed information (specific description of what was done, date it was completed, approximate cost) regarding any improvements made to the property, particularly those which might not be readily apparent. (IE: extra insulation in the walls and/or ceiling, custom building materials etc.) Provide copies of paid bills for costly improvements.
5. Provide copies of any recent inspections (IE: home inspection, professional engineer's report, termite inspection, cesspool/septic system inspection, water analysis/well inspection).
6. If the property is a condominium, home owners association or co-operative apartment unit, provide a copy of the most recent financial statement, details regarding common charges or maintenance fees (current monthly charge, anticipated changes, pending assessments and what is included). Make a copy of the prospectus, etc. available for the appraiser to view.
7. It could be beneficial, whenever possible to repair any maintenance issues prior to the day of the appraisal I.E.: broken windows, missing/broken door knobs, holes in drywall/doors, broken/missing light bulbs, leaking faucets/pipes, running toilets. Wherever possible remove unnecessary clutter.
8. Remove or secure any pets, particularly those that are large and might be perceived as potentially
threatening or dangerous.
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