What should you do before the appraiser comes?

It’s always nice to experience hospitality while I’m working. I am thankful when home owners offer me something simple like a warm smile, bottle of water, cup of coffee, fruit or a $10 Starbucks gift card (just kidding on the last one). These things, like cherries pictured below given to me in Sacramento, are definitely not necessary, but they do bring up an important question. What should you do to prepare for an appraisal inspection?

I often get asked about what to do before an appraiser comes over, so here are a few tips for you to consider:

  1. Neat and Tidy:  Clean up the house if you can. Life is full and busy, so if roller skates and video games clutter your home, that’s okay. But if you have a few minutes, tighten things up. If that’s not possible, don’t worry because appraisers are paid to be objective. Why not make a great first impression though if you are able?
  2. Make a List:  Compile a list of any recent improvements to your home and give it to the appraiser when he arrives. Write down bullet points including the date and cost of improvements if you have them. For example, instead of just saying “Bathroom remodel,” say “Bathroom remodel: new clawfoot tub, 16 inch travertine tile, cherrywood cabinetry, Kohler sink, etc… $15,000).
  3. Questions and Space:  Make yourself available to the appraiser for any questions, but give the appraiser a bit of space to do his job. You don’t want to hover over the appraiser during the entire inspection.
  4. Friendly Fido:  Your pets are your best friend, but they may or may not like the stranger (appraiser) in your home, so it’s best to keep your pets in the backyard or garage just to be safe. I actually was bit by a dog a couple weeks ago who was friendly according to the tenant (just not on Mondays apparently).  🙂
  5. Easy Access:  Make sure the appraiser has access to every room in your house. If you have a tenant in one room, have the key during the inspection. If the appraisal is for a loan, the lender is going to want the appraiser to view every room eventually and you may have to pay a re-inspection fee if the appraiser cannot access each room.
  6. Insider Information:  If opportunity arises for you to discuss why you purchased your home and what attracted you to the neighborhood, speak on. This is valuable insight. You may or may not be able to have this type of conversation with every appraiser, but I certainly enjoy hearing these things. Additionally, is there something special or funky about your home? Is it on the historic registry or is there something significant about the architect, builder or location? Hopefully the appraiser is in the know already, but why not share if you have the inside scoop?
  7. HOA, Mello Roos & Other Fees:  If you live in an HOA, have the HOA management company phone number and monthly or quarterly figures available. If there are any other fees you pay as a part of living in the neighborhood, feel free to share that type of information.
  8. Keep your clothes on:  I know it’s freeing to walk around in your birthday suit or Sponge Bob boxers, but just make sure you come to the door fully clothed. I say this from many years of inspections.  🙂

Let me know if you have any questions or other tips. Please know too if you do offer me a gift card, I will decline because it would be a conflict of interest. If you’ve had a recent interaction with an appraiser, what was it like? Was the appraiser friendly and professional or interested in anything you had to say?

If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact Lundquist Appraisal by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.

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