You only get one first impression – so make it a good one. Once an appraisal is completed and a value is assessed, it is very difficult for an Appraiser to adjust that value without having new information that warrants significant reconsideration.
It is imperative that you and your Realtor provide as much information as possible during the initial visit to help the Appraiser determine the correct the value. See more Tips For Selling Your Home.
How To Prepare For An Appraisal As A Seller
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Scheduling The Appraisal
The lender will be the one that orders the appraisal and the Appraiser will schedule an appointment through a Centralized Showing Service (CSS). If you have a Listing Agent Realtor then the Appraiser will gain access to the house either via the supra keypad that the Realtor places on the door or by contacting the Realtor directly if that’s what CSS instructs them to do. If you do not have a Realtor then the Appraiser will contact you directly for entry into the home.
Inspect Your Property
Before the Appraiser visits your home, inspect your home with an unbiased eye and look for anything that may be alarming. Appraisers are not conducting a home inspection and do not specifically address the home’s functionality and condition; however, they are the lender’s eyes and ears and will notate anything that may warrant further inspection. For example, if doors “stick” or cracks in the brick are observed, then the Appraisal may make note of that and suggest that a Structural Engineer inspect the property for foundation issues. In short, fix it before it becomes an issue.
Do Your Homework
Because you will most likely not be in contact with the Appraiser directly, we recommend you create an informational packet for the appraiser containing any information that you deem necessary and relevant to help them determine a value. While some may argue that certain Appraisers will be “put off” by your providing a package, most would agree that having additional information is helpful and lends itself to a more accurate value assessment. Below are some suggestions of what you may want to include in your packet and how to prepare for an appraisal.
Provide Comps and Explanations
The Appraiser will compare your home to other homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood and determine your value based off what recent sales have been. The appraiser’s data will be pulled from MLS. What the appraiser doesn’t know is the story behind the sale of a home; therefore, leave any information about a neighboring houses that may be relevant. Example: if you know the neighbors across the street sold their home under market value because of a job loss, divorce, medical issue, etc. then be sure to let the appraiser know it was a distressed sale. They may be able to dismiss that comp is another is available.
Provide Comps Not in MLS
If you know that a house recently sold AND that house was not listed in MLS (i.e. it was For Sale By Owner, a “pocket sale”, or maybe new construction that wasn’t on MLS) then be sure to bring that to the appraiser’s attention. We would highly recommend that you attempt to call those current owners (or past sellers) and see if you can get a copy of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement so the Appraiser can use that comp.
List Your Home Improvements
Be sure to include a list of your home improvements and upgrades that you have done to the house in recent years. This will ensure that the appraiser is aware of all the amenities to the house so that every feature can be considered in the determination of value.
Appraisal Frequently Asked Questions
Be sure to check out our Appraisal Frequently Asked Questions for more information. We answer such questions as:
- Do Appraisers measure square footage?
- Can I order my own appraisal?
- Do I get a copy of the appraisal?
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