How to Prepare For Your Appraisal

Once you have selected your appraisers and made ARE one of your two primary choices, you can expect a certain procedure which will be followed in all of our appraisals.  You will receive a call from one of our experienced EC’s (Efficiency Coordinator), who will explain the process to you and help schedule your appointment.  The EC will ask you to locate various items which will aid in expediting the appraisal process and keep you on track.  Don’t panic –  Whatever you can locate is helpful, and whatever you cannot locate, we can work around.

Plat of Survey.  The first thing we will ask for is a copy of your Plat of Survey.  The Plat of Survey is a legal document which you may have received at your home closing. It displays the dimension of your lot and the homes position on the lot.  It also shows any private or public easements, and provides a legal description of your parcel.  It should look similar to the following document.

209-167-1-Model-(1)

Real Estate Tax Bill.  The tax record should be for the most recent full year assessment, and if you have additional parcel numbers for things such as adjacent lots or deeded parking it would be helpful to have the associated documents as well. If possible, both of these documents should be furnished to the appraiser during the inspection.  Providing this documentation can aid in facilitating the process, however, if you do not have a survey or a copy of the latest tax bill it is not a big issue.  Most counties throughout the country are now providing information on-line, and our appraiser can typically extract this data during the appraisal process.

List of Improvements.  Additionally, the EC will ask you to prepare a list of improvements that were performed during your term of ownership.  This list is usually provided in summarized “bullet-point” fashion, and can include any cost figures that you would like the appraiser to be aware of.  We are often asked by transferees how detailed this list should be, and we would tell you to be as thorough as you wish.  Our inspection is truly a fact finding mission.  The more information we have the better.  No capital improvement is too small.  All of your improvements will be evaluated to assess contributory value in the development of an opinion of the anticipated sales price.

Comparable Market Data.  The final information that we will request is any comparable data that you wish to offer for consideration in the analysis. This is a voluntary process, and you are certainly not required to complete this task.  Whether you choose to offer data to the appraiser or not, we will complete our own due diligence to locate information of the highest comparative value.  In the same sense, ARE is open to your input and we want to encourage you to offer listings and sales that you feel are valid data which should be considered in the analysis. Focus on the properties that are the most similar to your residence, instead of providing an exhaustive list of all properties in a given area. If your agent has information about a particular home or sale, we would love to hear it.  When we select a comparable sale or listing we will always contact the listing agent to get a background of the sale conditions and a better sense of the physical and location components of a comparative home.  We will  also confirm the conditions of the sale and existence of any seller concessions potentially involved in the transaction.  If there are properties on the market or that have sold recently that you feel are not good comparables we want to know that, as well.  This is your home and the outcome of this process effects you.  We want you to be as involved in the process as you want to be.

How do I prepare my Home for Your Appraisal Inspection?   The final thing we hear from transferees – “What should I do to prepare my home for the inspection?” “Should I have the carpets cleaned and everything put away before you arrive?”  We tell homeowners that the relocation company is asking us to put ourselves into the shoes of a prospective buyer.  This means that whenever possible you should treat the appraisal as if you are preparing for something slightly less formal than a showing. Our appraisers are trained to look for specific value related items and are able to look beyond cluttered closets and teenagers messy bedrooms so don’t worry.  We do, however, require access to every room and will be taking photographs of the rooms for both our own use and for inclusion in the report.