Preparing for an Appraisal.

Preparing for an Appraisal

For homeowners, a real estate appraisal is the linchpin to buying or selling their home. It allows the property transactions to occur among the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage lender. Before an Appraiser arrives, there are a few things you should know. By law, an appraiser must be state licensed to perform appraisals prepared for federally related transactions. Also by law, you are entitled to receive a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lender.

CO2 Detector, Smoke Detector and Water Heater Strapping Requirements for your Appraisal

As of July 1, 2011 the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill - SB 183) requires owners of all single-family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source to install carbon monoxide detectors within the home by July 1, 2011. Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law.

In addition earthquake strapping of the water heater and working smoke detectors are required. If any of these items are not installed at the time of the initial inspection, the appraiser may have to come out and re-inspect your property to make sure these items have been installed.

See Cal Fire video for more information.

To facilitate the appraisal process, it's beneficial to have these a list of improvement competed since the purchase of the property ready for the appraiser:

Once your appraiser has arrived, you do not need to accompany him or her along on the entire site inspection, but you should be available to answer questions about your property and be willing to point out any home improvements. Here are some other suggestions:

  • Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space.
  • Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter.
  • FHA Inspection Items: If your applying for an FHA loan, there are specific items that the appraiser will be looking for when he inspects your property. His main concern is health and saftey; you will need to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels outside the sleeping areas near; install handrails on all stairways; remove peeling and chippping paint and repaint the effected area on all properties built before 1978; provide inspection access to the attic and crawl spaces and make sure that all mechanical systems are in good working order including heating and cooling systems and appliances.