Seven Hot Tips for a Successful Home Appraisal
The appraisal is probably the most important document in the home loan process, so you definitely want to take an appraisal seriously. United Home Loans asked veteran real estate appraiser Ken Kolozy, President of K2 Real Estate Services, for his take on how to make the appraisal process stress-free.
- Clear your Space
This should be a given, but make sure your house is tidy and free of clutter or moving boxes. While your home is not valued on housekeeping, first impressions count. A good rule of thumb is to present your home as you would in a real estate showing or open house.
- Respond Quickly to Appraiser Voicemail
If your appraiser leaves a message to set an appointment or with any follow-up questions, return the call as soon as possible. “It’s frustrating when I can’t get in touch with clients in a timely manner,” states Kolozy. “One of the goals is to get the appraisal done quickly, and if I can’t get in the house due to poor agent or homeowner communication, it just makes the process take much longer.” Most appraisers will work with your schedule, so get the dialogue going right away.
- Keep Pets Out of the Way
I’m sure many appraisers love your furry friends, but curious pets can be a nuisance when trying to get a job done. Plus, you don’t want your pets to get tripped over or hurt while the appraiser is walking around. For the safety of the appraiser and your pets, keep dogs and cats quarantined until the inspection is complete.
- Make Sure Comps Make Sense
A lot of your home value depends on the recent sale price of comparable homes in the neighborhood. If you have comparable homes to share, make sure they’re reasonable and presented at the time of inspection. We all want the home to appraise for top dollar, but savvy appraisers can see through attempts to use nearby homes that aren’t a fair comparison. Also, it’s rare for a value to change after an appraisal is written, so submit any comps early.
- Be Proactive with Documentation
There’s a lot of research in every appraisal. If possible, have documents such as the plat of survey and parcel identification numbers ready. The less information the appraiser has to collect, the faster the appraisal will be submitted to the lender. This makes for an easier loan and/or home sale process.
- Provide Records of Home Improvements and Repairs
The time and expense you put into your brand new kitchen may be obvious, but the best way to show your appraiser the money you put into your home is to provide a written list of improvements with approximate dates and cost. Organized information on recent remodeling will only help you maximize your value.
This applies to every tip, but especially goes back to the neighborhood comps. If a home down the street sold for $20,000 less than what you feel your home is worth, tell your appraiser why. Appraisers are working with you, not against you. Kolozy stresses, “although the final value has to be honest, I’m willing to listen and explain what I’m looking for in home valuation.”
Remember, the appraiser is your friend during the valuation, so be respectful and don’t be afraid to communicate. For more friendly appraisal or loan advice, contact United Home Loans here or at 708.531.9060.