A Handy Home Appraisal Checklist For Homeowners And Agents

A Home Appraisal Checklist Can Make Your Appraisal Go Smoother

appraisal downloadablesAre you a checklist person? Checklists help us to remember important things that we don’t want to forget.

Wikipedia gives this definition for a checklist:

“A checklist is a type of job aid used to reduce failure by compensating for potential limits of human memory and attention. It helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task. A basic example is the “to-do list”.

I don’t know about you but it feels like my brain is pretty full most of the time. My wife is always telling me that I need to make a checklist to make sure I remember what needs to be done.

Getting it out of your head and onto paper can also help to give you some peace of mind because then you don’t have to worry that you’ll forget what you want to do. This week I thought I would share a couple of checklists for both homeowners and real estate agents.

The first checklist is for homeowners that may be either refinancing their home or selling it. You canHomeowner Appraisal Checklist torn CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the file for your own use or click on the image to the right. It’s good to think about this stuff ahead of time because you may draw a blank if the appraiser asks you these questions when he or she is at your home.

If you fill this out ahead of time it will give you time to remember everything that you’ve done to your home and/or things you should give to the appraiser.

The reason it is important to pass the updates and improvements information along to the appraiser is that we look at the effective age of the home as well as its actual age. Effective age is the age the house appears to be considering any updates and renovations it has had.

The more renovations that have been done the lower the effective age is. This helps us when choosing sales comparables and it helps when comparing them and developing adjustments

If we have two identical homes that have sold, and one had extensive updates, the difference in price would most likely be caused by the superior condition and lower effective age of the renovated home.

In addition to the updates and renovation information, the other noted documents can provide the appraiser with the necessary information to complete the most accurate appraisal possible.

The second document is for real estate agents. It will contain some similar items as the homeowner checklist withReal Estate Agent Appraisal Checklist torn the addition of some agent-specific information that is helpful to the appraiser. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the agent specific checklist or click on the image to the right.

When Should I Give This Information To The Appraiser?

The best time to give this information to the appraiser is when they visit your home. This will help them when searching for comparables because then they can consider homes with similar updates or possibly newer homes if similarly, aged homes are not available.

Besides the update information, the other documents can help the appraiser complete the assignment in the shortest amount of time because they will not have to go searching for it. Surveys can help the appraiser document accurate site size and a list of features will ensure that no amenity the house has is not considered.

If you wait until the appraisal is finished then the process is more complicated because you have to go through the lender or AMC (Appraisal Management Company). Many agents or borrowers may not think about this ahead of time and they may wait until the appraisal is finished and is possibly lower than they expected before taking action. The important thing to remember is to be proactive and provide this information upfront.


If you have any other questions about what type of information the appraiser can use feel free to contact me and as always thanks for reading.

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  1. Douglas G. Kues, California AG015663 says

    Considering the ever expanding invasive photo requirements, and having looked over all of my own photos in the selection of ‘best rendition of the property’ I would specify in UPPER CASE BOLD TYPE (because of the awkwardness of saying it personally and verbally, that the property owner should take the time to make the beds and close the entire toilet lid (seat & cover) in every bathroom. Isolate the pets. Forget the appraiser, if I were an underwriter obvious neglect would impact me more than stated income credit report. Just sayin……

  2. Great post! Your downloads are great and very practical! This is wonderful information for homeowners. Nice work, as always!

  3. Nice job Tom. It’s key for owners to communicate well with the appraiser. I’m a huge fan of being proactive about information rather than reactive.

  4. How about make sure all utilities are turned on , on an empty house. Can not tell you how many times the realtor thought they were on, or did not know they needed to be on (for Fha).


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