Real estate appraisals typically involve an on-site property inspection.  The appraiser will schedule an appointment in advance with the homeowner or real estate agent.  During the site visit, the appraiser will generally make observations, take pictures, and measure the house.

It can be helpful to know what to expect while the appraiser is at your home.

  1. Measure, observe, and photograph the exterior – Appraisers use a variety of tools to measure the exterior of the house. Any other permanent structures such as guest houses or workshops on the property will also be measured.  These measurements will be used to create a sketch, also known as a basic floorplan, of the house. The appraiser will also take pictures of the exterior and may make notes of his/her
  2. Observe and photograph the interior – The appraiser will need access to enter the house and any other permanent structures on the property. He or she will perform a walk-through of the home where access to all rooms and closets will be necessary.  The appraiser will take pictures of each room.  He or she will observe and potentially make notes regarding the quality and condition of the interior building materials and fixtures.
  3. Potentially check electrical outlets, appliances, window access, and other utilities – Appraisals completed for certain types of lending transactions, such as for FHA loans, have additional requirements. The appraiser may be required to confirm all utilities and appliances are turned on and function properly.  This could include (but is not limited to) testing electrical outlets, turning on water faucets, checking the water pressure, opening windows, testing the HVAC unit, and making sure the appliances are in working condition.
  4. Potentially check the attic – The appraiser may be required to inspect the attic for specific lending transactions. It is important that the homeowner ensures access is available.
  5. Ask for additional details – The appraiser may also have specific questions for the homeowner or agent that could aid in the appraisal process. It can be beneficial to have details prepared regarding items such as recent renovations and/or any recent or needed repairs.

A few other helpful tips that ensure the process goes smoothly:

  1. Properly restrain pets – Appraisers get to meet all types of furry family members every day! Some typically friendly pets may not always welcome the appraiser in their territory.  It’s recommended that all pets are appropriately handled during the appointment.
  2. Unlock sheds, outdoor buildings, etc. – The appraiser must look inside all permanent structures on the property. Everyone remembers to give the appraiser access to the house, but please don’t forget about the other buildings.
  3. Don’t worry about the house being spotless – The appraiser has observed homes of many varying conditions, and appraisers can professionally look past everyday clutter. Most importantly, the appraiser needs easy access to each room and with unobstructed views.  Please keep in mind the photographs of the house will appear in the appraisal report.

If you have specific requests for the appraiser while visiting your home, please let us know!  The appraiser appreciates the invitation into your home, and they wants to make the homeowners comfortable.

Please give our office a call if you have any specific questions about the site visit.