How to Prepare for an Appraisal
For homeowners, a real estate appraisal is the linchpin to buying or selling their home. It allows the property transactions to occur among the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage lender.
Before an Appraiser arrives, there are a few things you should know. By law, an appraiser must be state licensed to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions. Also by law, you are entitled to receive a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lender.
To facilitate the appraisal process, it's beneficial to have these documents ready for the appraiser:
A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available)
Information on the latest purchase of the property in the last three years
Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway
List of personal property to be sold with the home
Title policy that describes encroachments or easements
Most recent real estate tax bill and or legal description of the property
Home 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 upgrades, the date of their installation and their cost (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available)
A copy of the current listing agreement and 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 accompany him or her 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.
Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space
Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can translate into a higher home value
Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim
FHA/VA Inspection Items: If your borrower is applying for an FHA/VA loan, be sure to ask your appraiser if there are specific things that should be done before they come. Some items they may recommend might be: Install smoke detectors on all levels (especially near bedrooms); install handrails on all stairways; remove peeling paint and repaint the effected area; provide inspection access to the attic and crawl
Homeowner Appraisal Services
Homeowners need appraisals or appraisal reviews for a variety of reasons, including a mortgage refinance, home equity loans, Pre-listing services, and PMI removal. When you order an appraisal or review from us, you can rest assured that you will get the best in professional service, courtesy, and quality.
Refinance / Home Equity
Be sure that you request us if your lender asks you for YOUR choice of appraisal firms. More than likely we are already on their "approved list", and if not we will quickly provide your lender with the necessary documentation to become approved.
For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) / Pre-Listing Services
It's very hard to be objective about your own home because of your emotional attachment to it. A Professional Appraiser is objective and will tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear. In addition to helping you set a realistic selling price so your home will attract buyers, a professional appraisal is very valuable as a negotiating tool once you have a potential buyer. It gives you something concrete to show your buyer. It's an independent third party's opinion of your home's value, and not just you saying how much your home is worth. Potential buyers know you have an emotional attachment to your home and will be far more likely to give credibility to a professional appraiser's value opinion than yours.
PMI Removal Appraisals
A popular money saver for homeowners in the last few years is to get the PMI removed from their mortgage loan, thus saving them money on their monthly payments. PMI stands for "Private Mortgage Insurance". Once your mortgage loan amount is down below 80% of the value of your home, in most cases you can apply to the lender to have the PMI removed from your loan, which will make your monthly payments go down. We are experienced in helping folks just like you rid themselves of unneeded and unwanted PMI insurance.
Field and Desktop Appraisal Review Services
Have you just received a copy of your appraisal and you would like to have a professional re-check it for accuracy or would you like a second opinion without the expense and delay of waiting for a whole new appraisal?
Appraisal Field Reviews:
Well check your appraisal for accuracy and provide exterior "field inspections" of the subject and comparable properties for maximum appraisal certainty. Perfect for any situation demanding a second opinion on value.
Appraisal Desk Reviews: In a hurry and just want to "double-check" the facts? Well use our extensive Internet research capabilities and office files to deliver reviews with the highest degree of precision in the industry.