How to Prepare for an Appraisal
There are several factors that can affect the appraised value of your home, including whether or not:
- It is well maintained inside and out
- It is located in a good school district
- Additions fit well into the existing house
- Properties throughout the neighborhood are well maintained
- It is the largest house on the block (or the most improved)
- The style of the house conforms with those in the neighborhood
- Zoning changes are expected
For those items listed above that you can improve on, such as maintaining your house (which includes repairing leaky faucets, painting over spots on the wall, etc.), it is well worth the effort to do so prior to scheduling the appraisal.
Once you decide to schedule the appraisal, you should try to gather all of the following documents to present to your appraiser upon his or her arrival:
- A plot plan or survey of the house and land
- Your most recent tax bill or a legal description of the property
- Copies of any recent home inspection reports, or other recent reports, such as for termites
- A copy of your title policy
- Homeowners Association information and fees
- Property purchase information for the last three years
- All written property agreements that you may have – such as shared driveway maintenance agreement, etc.
- A list of personal property that is to be included in the sell of the home
- A list of major home improvements (including date and permit confirmation, if necessary)
- A copy of the current listing agreement
- A copy of the broker’s data sheet
- A copy of the Purchase Agreement if a sale is pending
Also prior to the scheduled appraisal, you should also make sure that all areas of your home are accessible and that your home is as clean and orderly as possible to make a good impression on the appraiser. 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.