Top 5 things an agent can do to get a listing ready for the appraisal inspection

Top 5 Things An Agent Can Do to Get a Listing Ready For The Appraisal Inspection

I often get asked by homeowners what they can do to get their home ready for the home inspection. I decided to provide this information to real estate agents to pass on to their home seller clients. Most of the time agents will have given their clients the necessary information to get the home ready to sell so that it shows in the best light possible. The information I pass along today will aid in making the appraisal inspection and appraisal process go as smoothly as possible so there are no hangups.

5 Tips To Make The Appraisal Process Smoother
  1. Make Sure Utilities Are On- Lenders have increased their requirements for what appraisers are required to check out and verify, and utilities are one of those items. In the past appraisers only needed to do this with FHA/HUD appraisals, however many banks require that the appraiser verify if the utilities are on and functioning. Agents should make sure they are on before the appraiser gets there. If they are not then a second trip will be necessary, and this will increase the cost to the buyer.
  2. Appraiser Should Have Access To ALL Rooms For Pictures- Appraisers are required to take pictures of ALL rooms in the house. In the past only pictures of main rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, etc. were necessary but that is not the case anymore. Banks want to see pictures of EVERY room to verify that the home is in good shape. I have been to houses that had rooms locked and I was not able to get a picture so I had to make a second trip to do this which slowed down the loan closing process.
  3. Provide List of Improvements- If the home has had significant improvements or updates that have been factored into the pricing of the home then a list of these should be provided to the appraiser. The appraiser is a trained professional, however some improvements may not be readily apparent. By providing this information the appraiser will be able to make more accurate condition adjustments and this can help in getting a more accurate appraisal.
  4. Put Pets Up-  I love animals, but it is difficult to concentrate and do a thorough and accurate job when dogs are jumping up onBeware of dog you while you are doing the inspection of the home. I’ve dealt with overly friendly dogs while measuring the outside of a home and I’ve also ran into problems while walking through the interior. I came up on a mother dog with her puppies, needless to say she was very protective, which made it very difficult for me to get complete information about the interior of the home.
  5. Make Sure Repairs Are Made- If repairs are part of the contract, make sure they are made before the appraiser gets there. If the contract calls for repairs and they are not done when the appraiser is doing the inspection then it will be necessary to revisit the home after they are made, which can increase the cost to the borrower.

Question- What do you think of this list? Would you add anything else? Leave me a comment below, I’d like to know your thoughts, and as always thanks for reading.


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  1. I have been to some homes where the garage and the backyard were a mess. In a recent one, there were about 20 huge auto tires (owner buys used tires for export to Eastern Europe) and the two-car garage had a single walk-able lane due to over-stuffed garage. Seems like such clutter will affect value: do they?

    • From an appraisal standpoint we are trained to look past clutter and look at the structure of the home as well as its condition and layout and value that, however if a home is messy I’m sure it can affect a buyer’s perception and they may not want to purchase it, that is why staging a home is so important (or at least de-cluttering).

  2. Great post, Tom. Especially agree with getting the animals under control. Also wouldn’t mind if homeowners checked the yard for land-mines too! Thx.

    • Thanks Mike. Land mines are definitely on my radar when waking through the yard. I’ve cleaned my fair share of shoes in the past after appraisal inspections.

  3. Good list Tom. I’d add “make sure sprinkler system is turned OFF prior to appraiser inspection time.” I’ve had some turn on while I’m doing my exterior inspection! 🙂

    • Wow Steven, that is a good one that I forgot about. I have had that happen to me once and it surprised the you know what out of me! Thanks for for the input.

  4. Good stuff, Tom. These are helpful indeed. I concur with the importance of having access to each room.

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