Real Estate Appraiser with Lanier Appraisal Service CR004373

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 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.


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) including illustration which shows any special easements or encroachments.
  • Information on the latest purchase of the property in the last three years
  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway
  • 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) PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO LEAVE FOR THE APPRAISER.
  • Any prior Appraisal with Sketch of your home is always helpful even if it is an older report as the data on your home and the sketch may save time for the Appraiser especially if you have a very large home. Appraisers who can save time are Happy Ones. Always good to have a Happy Appraiser on your hands! 
  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.
  • A list of "Proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "Subject To".
  • Realtors, you can certainly provide COMPS for appraisers and place them in an envelope on the kitchen counter and tell them that they are there if they call ahead of time. DO NOT push comps on appraisers, most have the exact same data that you do in order to research comps and pressure will be perceived as trying to INFLUENCE Value. However, if you are award of sales that may not be showing up on FMLS or that have closed very recently and have not been posted as closed yet on FMLS/MLS this IS very helpful information. In addition, if you are aware of issues with a home that closed that were not evident in the FMLS listing or you know of special distress situations, etc. This also is helpful information for an Appraiser. 
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. ** APPRAISERS VARY ON THIS. I PREFER TO BE LEFT TO DO THE "INSPECTION" WITHOUT INTERRUPTION AS IT IS EASY TO MISS SOMETHING IF THE HOMEOWNER FOLLOWS YOU AROUND THE HOME.....I DO NOT WANT TO MISS ANY VALUE ADDED FEATURES.  If the homeowner is there I tell them I will do what I need to do in the home and at the end of my "inspection" I will ask them any and all questions at that time. It works very well this way and 95% of the time the homeowner has no issues allowing me to walk around on my own in their home. If the homeowner is not there, I can call them or the Realtor to get any of my questions answered. 


Here are some other suggestions:

  • Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space. Take locks off those crawl space doors. 
  • 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. The feeling here is if the home is messy and cluttered knowing the Appraiser is coming by, then other major systems may not have been taken care of as they should.  Determining overall Condition is one part of the Appraisal process.  I SUGGEST THE HOME SHOULD LOOK LIKE IT WOULD FOR ANY POTENTIAL BUYER WHEN THEY KNOW THE APPRAISER IS COMING. 
  • If you have pets, please make an effort to remove the dog "poop" in the yard, last thing an appraiser wants to do is walk in the "poop" and track it into your home or into their car! I always remove my shoes when I enter a home, but not all do and if they do not realize they stepped in "poop" it may be tracked into your home. 
  • 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 effected area; provide inspection access to the attic and crawl spaces, install ground fault protectors on all faucets in kitchen and baths. 
For many the Appraisal process is a HURDLE to overcome. However, if all the items noted above are dealt with, it will certainly reduce any unpleasant surprises. Remember that Appraisers are there for one reason (where a loan is involved), they are protecting the Lender from risky lending choices. We are providing them with the most probable sales price for the property in question, based upon sound market data analysis. If your home has been priced to compete in the market, you should have no issues. Remember the Appraiser has NO vested interest in your home, so there is no reason to provide anything other than True Market Value for your home....which of course the MARKET decides, not the Appraiser. 
If you have any questions as to what you should ask for your home before you List it, we can always help with a PRE-LISTING Appraisal. Click Here For benefits here of a Pre-Listing Appraisal.




Mary T. Thompson - Lanier Appraisal Service
Certified Residential Appraiser- NORTH GEORGIA AREA


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John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Mary, you have provided the Seller with a valuable list of how to prepare for an appraiser. It could make a difference in the sale.

Make it a great day.

Jul 07, 2014 09:44 PM #1
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Excellent post ... I love the Brag Sheet idea... I'm in the business 35 years and this is the first time I've heard that... Sounds like a great idea and I'll see to it that are agents share it with their sellers... I'm hitting the gold star on this one because I think it deserves to be seen...

Jul 07, 2014 09:47 PM #2
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Mary excellent post on preparation for an appraisal, home sellers and agents should keep these points in mind. Suggested.

Jul 07, 2014 10:16 PM #3
Mary Thompson
Lanier Appraisal Service - Flowery Branch, GA
Lake Lanier Appraiser in North Georgia

Thanks all for your support on this post. If we work together it is a WIN/WIN for all


As for the Bragg sheet, this is so very important and I am glad that you will pass this along, A few years ago rules changed and appraises MUST provide details on major renovations to kitchen and baths over the past 15 years. So we need this information AND it really helps to get the most value out of the home, especially when costs for these improvements are included. 


Thanks again. 

Jul 07, 2014 10:19 PM #4
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

Great suggestions, Mary.  This can really help those in the process of selling their homes as well as agents to advise their clients.

Jul 07, 2014 10:41 PM #5
Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR
BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253 - Davie, FL
Top Listing Broker

Bookmarking! I love how you enumerated everything here Mary. Excellent post!

Jul 08, 2014 03:37 AM #6
Mary Thompson
Lanier Appraisal Service - Flowery Branch, GA
Lake Lanier Appraiser in North Georgia

Thanks guys, glad it will be helpful for you!

Jul 08, 2014 03:49 AM #7
Jill Watts
Realty Pro, Inc. - Vancouver, WA
A Luxury Experience at Every Price Point!

Loved your full and detailed blog about what to prepare for the appraiser! Yep, I made a brag sheet for a home that's being appraised this very next week. Thanks for all the helpful tips

Aug 26, 2014 02:54 PM #8
Mary Thompson
Lanier Appraisal Service - Flowery Branch, GA
Lake Lanier Appraiser in North Georgia

Thanks Jill....Good job on the brag sheet. It DOES make a difference. 

Aug 26, 2014 10:13 PM #9
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Mary Thompson

Lake Lanier Appraiser in North Georgia
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