Some useful tips to speed your appraisal along from DJ Valuations

Legally, an appraiser must be licensed by the state to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions - i.e. transactions related to Freddie Mac, Office of Thrift Supervision and the like. Contact us if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

To facilitate the appraisal process, it's helpful to have these documents ready for the appraiser:

  • A survey or plot map of the property and building (if available).

  • Any records on the purchase of the property for the last three years.

  • Information on any written private easements, such as a shared driveway with a neighbor.

  • A list of any personal property that is part of the home and you intend to be sold with the home, such as an oven, or a washer and dryer.

  • Title policy that describes encroachments or easements.

  • Most recent real estate tax bill and or legal description of the property.

  • Any 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 enhancements, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of energy efficiency upgrades or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).

  • A copy of the current listing agreement with broker's data sheet and purchase agreement if a sale is "pending".

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

  • A list of "proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "as complete".

Once your appraiser has arrived, you do not need to escort them along on the entire site inspection, but you should be present to answer questions about your property and be willing to point out any home improvements.

Here are a few other tips:

  • Accessibility: Appraisers are very meticulous in their inspections. Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially the attic and crawl space.

  • Housekeeping: Appraisers see a lot of homes a year and aren't surprised at seeing a bit of clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impact can mean a higher home value.

  • Maintenance: We generally suggest fixing small things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.

  • FHA and VA Inspection Items: If your borrower is applying for either an FHA or VA loan, definitely ask your appraiser if there are additional things that should be done before they come. Some things they may recommend might be: having handrails on all stairways, scraping and repainting where there's paint peeling, repairing any faucets that leak or drip, fixing broken windows or other glass like doors.