Realtor Advice

How to Get Your Sellers Prepared for an Appraisal

Even in times when real estate was booming, when homes were selling like hotcakes, the property appraisal was one of the major hurdles for sellers, buyers and lenders. 
While the actual appraisal inspection may only take an hour or so, the appraiser must still go back to the office, do the research and write the report. 
Here are a few tips to share with the sellers to help move the process along more smoothly.
  • Compile a list of recent improvements.  If possible, include before and after pictures, and copies of paid receipts for the work completed. If major updates, detailed copy of the contractor’s bid.
  • Make sure all areas are accessible, including the attic, basement and crawl spaces.  This includes the garage.
  • If the home is part of a homeowner’s association, include a copy of the fees paid and name and phone number of the association president or association administrator.
  • Straighten up each room.  Appraisers are required to photograph each room, and while it may not make a difference to them if the room is messy, there is an underwriter who may be less objective.
  • If there are any unfinished projects, make sure the seller completes them before the appraiser’s inspection.
  • If there are any easements, encroachments or any unusual covenants associated with the title, provide a copy to the appraiser.
  • If the seller knows of any recent “For Sale By Owner” sales that will help support the value, ask them if they are able to get additional information from the home buyers living there now. 
Prepare your sellers for one more thing: Since the appraisal is paid for and completed for the buyer and the lender, the seller does NOT have the right to know the final value – that is, unless the buyer gives permission to share the information.
Let me know if I can help you in any way.

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