Some nice hints to save you time on your appraisal from Skylark Appraisal Services, Inc.

To appraise a property, an appraiser needs to be licensed by the state when the transaction involves any federal financial regulatory agency such as OTS, FDIC, etc... Contact us if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

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

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

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

  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance easement for a shared driveway.

  • List of personal property to be sold with the home.

  • Any documents, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.

  • A bill for your most recent real estate taxes which should also contain a legal description of the property.

  • Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, your septic system and wells.

  • Brag sheet that lists major home improvements and upgrades, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of central air conditioning 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 when the property is being appraised "as complete".

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

Here are a few other suggestions:

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

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

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

  • FHA and VA Inspection Items: In the case of your borrower applying for either an FHA or VA loan, be sure to ask your appraiser if there are extra things that should be done before they arrive. Some things they may recommend might be: putting smoke detectors on all levels and especially near bedrooms, where paint is peeling it should be sanded and repainted, eliminating pull-chain lights in areas other than the basement or attic.