Watch Out for Appraisal "Gotchas"!

March 18, 2016


The appraisal of a new home, it can be the most exciting part... "How much is my home worth?!" Or, it can be the most frustrating part... "When will the appraisal be back? Why do they have to go back and reinspect? How much is this going to cost?"


There are several things homeowners can do to help head off the appraiser and the need for reinspections. Checking these things ahead of time can help the transaction close more smoothly and save the borrower the distress of extra expenses at closing.


8 Things To Do Before the Appraiser Comes Out


1. The water heater needs TWO straps. The appraiser will photograph this and Lenders always require it. If it only has one, the appraiser will have to come back out to take another picture!


2. Make sure the CO Detectors are installed and working. These are going to be photographed and checked.


3. The water needs to be connected and working. Sometimes a home is left vacant and the water is shut off, which totally makes sense, but if it's not on, running and hot when the appraiser comes out... then a reinspection will be required!


4. Install or replace missing appliances or units like a dishwasher, furnace, air conditioning, toilet, sink etc. where one should be. Lenders don't like holes and missing equipment. The appraiser has to document these things are where they are supposed to be and working.


5. Scrape and seal any chipped paint. This should be fixed on the inside or the outside. It's a Lender requirement.


 6. Repair any drywall missing in the garage. This is considered a fire hazard and needs to be repaired for the home to pass the appraisal process.


7. Any homemade, unsealed attic access needs to be repaired. This is also a fire hazard. The Lender wants to be sure the home is safe from any avoidable safety issues.



8. Make sure the deck is safe. Any boards that are loose or broken should be repaired, chipping paint should also be scraped and sealed here as well. Rails should be secure. 


This list is by no means complete, but should give you a good idea of what to look for. Many things appraisers are looking out for are safety issues. If it looks unsafe, is a potential fire hazard, is missing or looks toxic, remove it, replace it or repair it! 

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