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How to Prepare for an Appraisal

Before an appraiser from Ashley, Scarborough & Pierce comes to your home, there are a few things you should know.  By law, an appraiser must be state licensed and certified 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.

If you are refinancing or removing PMI, the appraisal is needed as part of the process to lower you monthly payments, get a better interest rate or include other debts into your mortgage.

For homeowners, a real estate appraisal is the linchpin to buying or selling their home.  It allows the property transactions to occur amoung the buyer, seller, real estate agent and mortgage lender.

To facilitate the appraisal process, it's beneficial to have these documents ready for the appraiser:

  • A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available)
  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway
  • List of personal property to be sold with the home
  • Most recent real estate tax bill and or legal description of the property
  • Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, septic systems and wells
  • List of major home improvements and upgrades, the date of their installation and their cost (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available)
  • A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".
  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.
  • A list of "Proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "As Complete".

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.  Clean excess stuff out of stairwells and provide a sturdy handrail.
  • Housekeeping and Maintenance: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can translate into a higher home value.  Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim. 
  • For Rental Units: Have the leases available with the montly rental amounts and lease dates.
  • FHA Inspection Items: If your borrower is applying for an FHA loan, be sure to ask the realtor if there are specific things that should be done before the appraiser arrives. One item they should recommend is to remove any peeling paint and the paint chips and then repaint the prepared surface.  Once the appraiser arrives you may be asked to start the furnace and the central air conditioning system.  If you are on a private well and septic system, and public facilities are available, you may be required to connect to these public systems.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Just fill out the form and we will get back to you are our earliest convenience. Your information will be kept confidential.

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