Preparing For An Appraisal
One of the first steps in the appraisal process is typically the physical inspection of the property. A Certified Residential Appraiser will personally visit your property to gather data related specifically to your home. The appraiser generally performs both an interior and exterior observation of the home. The exterior observation includes physically measuring the improvement and gathering data related to building materials and condition of the exterior. The improvement’s site is also analyzed for features such as view, topography, and landscaping. The appraiser’s interior inspection includes analyzing room layout & functionality, interior building materials, and amenities. The interior inspection also includes measurements of areas not accessible via the exterior such as 2nd floors and basement areas. Properties being appraised in relation to loans such as FHA & USDA are also inspected for health & safety concerns. During these types of inspections, the appraiser will also inspect functionality of utilities and crawlspace/attic spaces. Typically, the appraiser will take photos of both the interior and exterior of your home to be utilized in the appraisal report.
What can a homeowner do to prepare for an appraisal inspection?
Inside, make sure the home is clutter free and all areas of the interior are accessible to the appraiser. The appraiser is not analyzing personal property; however the appraiser needs for areas to be accessible in order to determine your homes building materials, quality, and condition. On the outside, make sure the appraiser can have access to measure exterior walls. Gates on fencing & decking, outbuildings, and areas only accessible from the exterior should be unlocked for the appraiser to inspect. Pets should be kept in controlled areas while the appraiser is conducting the property inspection.
It is often a good idea to make a list of updates and remodeling the property may have experienced to give to the appraiser. This is helpful to the appraiser in analyzing the condition of your home. If you live in an area that collects dues for development amenities or road maintenance, a list of the amenities and the amount of dues collected along with contact information for a development representative is helpful. If the property features amenities such as a shared well or shared driveway, maintenance agreement information is helpful. After the appraiser has conducted the property inspection, the appraiser will discuss these items with you as well as any other information needed by the appraiser.