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Gearing up for an appraisal from JM Real Estate Service

To appraise a property, an appraiser is legally required to be licensed by the state when it's a federally related transaction. Just give us a call at (847) 701-4510 if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

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

  • A survey or plot map of the property and building (if readily available).

  • Records on the latest purchase of the property in the last three years.

  • Information on any written private easements, such as a shared driveway with a neighbor.

  • List of personal property to be sold with the building.

  • Any paperwork, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.

  • 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, your septic system and wells.

  • A list of any major home improvements and enhancements, the date of their installation and their cost (for example, the addition of energy efficiency upgrades or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).

  • Locate copies of the current listing agreement, broker's data sheet and, if the sale is "pending", the purchase agreement.

  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.

  • A list of "proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "as complete".

When the appraiser has arrived, you do not need to escort them along on the entire site inspection, but you should be available to answer inquiries about your property and identify any home improvements.

Here are a few other recommendations:

  • Accessibility: Appraisers are very thorough in their inspections. We recommend that all areas of the home are accessible, especially the attic and crawl space.

  • Housekeeping: Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and aren't surprised at seeing a bit of clutter, but they're human beings too! A good impression can translate into a higher home value.

  • Maintenance: We generally recommend repairing small things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.

  • FHA and VA Inspection Items: If your borrower is trying to apply for either an FHA or VA loan, definitely ask your appraiser if there are extra things that should be done before they arrive. Some items they may recommend might be: installing smoke detectors on every floor of the home and especially near bedrooms, ensuring there are electrical receptacles in every room (note: GFI outlets are no longer required) and that each outlet works, eliminating pull-chain lights in areas other than the basement or attic.