As a homeowner, you might need to have your property appraised at some point, whether you're selling, refinancing, or simply curious about its market value. An appraisal is an objective assessment of your property's worth, conducted by a professional appraiser who evaluates various factors, such as location, condition, and comparable sales.
To ensure an accurate appraisal, you need to provide the appraiser with the necessary materials and information about your property. Here are some of the items you should prepare before the appraisal.
The appraiser will need to verify the ownership and legal status of the property, so you should have the following documents available:
- Deed or title: This shows that you are the rightful owner of the property and describes its boundaries.
- Survey: This is a map that shows the property's exact dimensions and location relative to other properties.
- Property tax records: These documents show the assessed value of the property for tax purposes, as well as any outstanding taxes or liens.
- Homeowner association (HOA) documents: If your property is part of an HOA, you should have the bylaws, covenants, and fees information available.
To help the appraiser evaluate your property accurately, you should provide the following information:
- Property type: Is it a single-family home, a townhouse, a condominium, or a multi-family property?
- Property size and features: Provide the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the age of the property, and any recent renovations or improvements.
- Property condition: Mention any defects or damages, such as leaks, cracks, or mold, that could affect the property's value.
- Energy-efficient features: If your property has energy-saving appliances, insulation, or solar panels, provide documentation that shows their efficiency and cost savings.
- Neighborhood information: Give the appraiser an idea of the local market, such as the median home price, the school district, the crime rate, and any nearby amenities, like parks, shopping centers, or public transportation.
Comparable Sales Information
To determine the market value of your property, the appraiser will compare it to similar properties that have recently sold in your area. You can help the appraiser by providing the following information:
- Sales history: If you've sold or bought the property in the past, provide the sale price and date, as well as any notable changes in the market since then.
- Comparable properties: Identify at least three properties that are similar to yours in size, features, and location, and have sold within the past six months. Provide the sales price, date, and MLS listing if possible.
- Unique features: If your property has unique or exceptional features that make it stand out from the comparables, such as a panoramic view or a swimming pool, provide documentation that shows their value and desirability.
Preparing for a property appraisal can be daunting, but with the right materials and information, you can help the appraiser evaluate your property accurately and fairly. By providing the necessary documents, property information, and comparable sales data, you can ensure that your property is valued at its true worth.