So far in this season of our blog, we’ve covered 13 frequently asked questions about the real estate appraisal process, and most of them are questions we get during or after our on-site visit. Our current post is different in that we get this question before we ever get to the home. And, it has many variations. Here are a few: “Who should be at home when the appraiser comes?” “Is it ok if the seller is there?” “Does the seller need to leave when he gets there?” “The buyer wants to meet the appraiser at the home. Is that ok?”
So in this short article, we’ll address this FAQ, and give you our perspective – as well as another perspective you may encounter.
In our office, we always encourage someone to be at the property if at all possible. Of course the inspection usually takes longer because we’re talking with the occupant, but it’s for good reason! If you’re refinancing your mortgage, or selling your home, here are a few reasons why it’s good for you to be at home during the appraisal.
Access. For most appraisals, I’m going to need to access the interior and all areas of the exterior of the property. This includes storage buildings, basements, barns, etc. Some loans (i.e. FHA) require us to inspect and photograph the interior of all structures. So if no one is at home and a building is locked, the appraiser will likely need to re-visit the property later.
Updates. When I’m done looking the property over, one of the questions I ask is about updates. Have there been any recent updates to the home? Any remodeling? Additions? This information is incredibly useful when I’m estimating my overall rating of the subject’s condition.
Property Information. When someone is present at the home, I also like to double check the lot size, year built, number of bathrooms (those pesky half baths can sometimes hide!), etc. And, if it’s a purchase transaction and I already have the purchase agreement, I’ll confirm the contract price and go over any sales concessions, etc.