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 do. Although the appraiser is not a house keeping inspector, tidy up the home so as to present it in the best light. Make it easy for the appraiser to inspect all rooms, inspect the hydro panel, read the labels on the hot water tank and heating system, and inspect all outbuildings.
To facilitate the appraisal process, it’s beneficial to have these documents ready for the appraiser:
- The most recent Municipality Property Assessment from MPAC
- A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available)
- Date the property was purchased by the current owner
- Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway
- List of personal property to be sold with the home if the home is being sold
- Title policy that describes encroachments or easements
- 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.
Here are some other suggestions:
- Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, even 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