How To Prepare for a Home Appraisal
Interest rates are at a low so many home owners have opted to refinance. The problem is you may not understand the full process and it may seem a bit scary.
You’ve just signed all of the paperwork for your refinance, handed the loan officer the check for the appraisal, and now you’re wondering what is going to happen next. Good news-the appraisal inspection is painless, and usually takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes to complete. However, there are a few things that you should do to help the process move along as smooth as possible.
Preparing for the appraisal inspection:
·Create a detailed list of the recent improvements, which should include the following: when completed, cost of the improvement, before and after pictures if available.
·Make sure each room is accessible; the appraiser is required to inspect each room.
·If there is a crawl space, this area will also have to be made accessible for inspection for an FHA appraisal.
·Give the appraiser room to do their job. Errors are more likely to occur when the appraiser isn’t able to concentrate on their inspection.
·Keep all pets restrained.
·If you live within a development that has a homeowners association, have the name and phone number of the contact person available, along with a fee statement.
·If the appraisal is for an FHA loan, then the area leading to the attic will have to be cleared and made accessible-the appraiser is required to make at least a head and shoulders inspection of the attic area.
·Walk through each room and straighten up as if you were getting ready for company to visit. Appraisers are objective and can look past many things, however, the underwriter reviewing the appraisal photos may feel differently.
·Complete any unfinished projects-most appraisals are done “as is”, and any projects that haven’t been completed, will have to be adjusted for within the appraisal report.
·A copy of any agreements regarding easements (shared driveways and/or garages,etc.) should be made available.
· A copy of your survey as well as the appraisal if you have it.
· Provide recent comparables if applicable.
Concerns about value:
By building a relationship with a professional Realtor such as myself (this is all I do and I do it well), they’ll be able to give you great insight as to what’s happening within your neighborhood, and they would be glad to let you know what similar homes are selling for.
Once the appraisal is complete:
You have a right to a copy of your appraisal, so ask for it. If you should find any errors or have any concerns, talk with your loan originator. This is hard for borrowers to understand, being that they paid for the appraisal, but the mortgage company is the appraiser’s client, and they can’t discuss the appraisal with anyone else unless given permission.
Trying to understand an appraisal can be like trying to read a foreign language so ask questions and get clarification when needed. NO question is a dumb question.
Marilyn Wier ABR, CIPS, CLHMS, CRS, GRI, SRES
RE/MAX Space Center 1150 Clear Lake City Blvd., Suite 100
Mobile: 713-542-8451 Tel: 281-204-1015 Fax: 281-488-2264
"Serving Southeast Houston & Galveston County" "Selling Locally Marketing Globally"