- Since house prices are subject to fluctuations based on economic conditions and other factors, many prospective buyers and sellers opt to have a professional real estate appraiser determine the property’s market value. In many cases, a bank will send a real estate appraiser to determine a property value before approving or refinancing a mortgage.
Step 1: Collect and Organize Documents
- Since you want the appraisal of your home to accurately reflect how much the property is worth, ensuring that you provide the appraiser with the appropriate documentation is key. This will not only assist the appraiser in making an informed and true estimation of your home’s worth, but can also potentially increase the amount your house is appraised for.
- If you have any of the following documents, collect and organize them for the appraiser:
- A floor plan of the home
- Land titles, deeds and ownership agreements
- Bill of sale, if the property was purchased within the previous three years
- Copies of any agreements with neighbors regarding shared resources, such as driveways or docks
- A detailed list and receipts of any significant improvements to the home or property in recent years
- Any inspection reports
- If the home is for sale, provide a list of any appliances that will be included with the home
- A copy of the most recent property tax bill
- If the property is a condominium, a copy of strata agreements and any related covenants and fees
- If the home is for sale, a list of any planned improvements to the property that will be completed before the sale is finalized
Step 2: Basic Maintenance
- If there are any minor repairs that need to be performed on the home, do you best to take care of them before the appraiser arrives. For example:
- Fix any leaky faucets
- Replace any missing moldings
- Patch any holes in the walls
- Ensure that all window coverings are in good condition if they will be included in the sale
- Replace any broken windows or torn window screens
- If smoke detectors are not in working condition, replace or repair them
Step 3: Other Tips
- Although showing the appraiser a clean house will not necessarily increase the appraisal value, it can’t hurt. Be sure to remove any obstructions to lesser-used areas of the house, such as the shed, attic and crawlspace, since the appraiser will need access to every part of the house and property. To avoid of allergic reactions or possible aggressive behavior, remove or tie up any pets.
- You do not need to give the appraiser a guided tour of your property; in fact, he or she may want to perform the inspection solo. However, be sure you are somewhere close by and available to answer any questions that may arise.
- Be sure to prepare for your real estate appraisal by collecting and organizing any documents that may be relevant to your property’s value. Make sure your house is tidy and that the appraiser will be able to easily access all areas.