What type of information can home owners give appraisers during a refinance? Last month I put together a “cheat sheet” for listing agents to use during a sale, but I had several requests for something to use for a refinance. Loan officers and real estate agents, save this form to your desktop and consider sharing it with your clients as needed. If you can help home owners communicate more effectively about their property and the neighborhood, it can give the appraiser more data to consider, which can sometimes impact the value. Also, you’ll look like a rock star by providing excellent service.
A “cheat sheet” to communicate with appraisers: The document below helps address some of the questions appraisers tend to ask home owners, and it also gives insight into the neighborhood. You can quickly fill it out, and give it to the appraiser in person (or email it). Feel free to edit the document as needed. Download in WORD or a PDF.
EXAMPLE OF INFORMATION SHEET FILLED OUT
This document addresses recent improvements made to the subject property, but it also gives an opportunity for home owners to share any insight about the neighborhood, school district boundaries, coming changes in the city, reasons why people are buying in the area, or insider knowledge about the subject property or street. Hopefully the appraiser is in tune with these things, but I recommend not assuming. Remember, this is potential market data, and it can sometimes make a difference in the appraised value.
Some quick tips:
- Save this document to your desktop.
- Tell the truth in everything you write.
- Feel free to skip, delete, or add any categories.
- You don’t need to write a novel, but it’s okay if the document ends up being more than one page (keep it less than two though).
- Be specific about upgrades. For instance, instead of saying, “The house was remodeled throughout,” unpack what that means and when any remodeling was done (if you know).
- Remember, this information is about sharing facts instead of pressure to hit a certain value. This is exactly why it’s okay to share this type of information. During the inspection, simply say, “Here is some information about my property”, and hand the document to the appraiser.
- Use the “other information” section at the very bottom to mention any changes in the neighborhood that might be relevant for the appraiser to know about (parks, streets, land uses, zoning, businesses, etc…).
Questions: Do you think this document would be useful? Anything you’d add or take away?