Realtors, especially listing agents, have the unique perspective of truly knowing a property. The appraiser is tasked with learning about it within the short amount of time they are there for the appraisal observation.

Information you may want to consider providing to the appraiser are noted below.  These items, in a written format, makes it much easier for the appraiser to include all pertinent information in the report and can assist the appraiser in supporting their estimate of value.

Also listed are items you may want to ensure are complete prior to the appraisal.

Updates and features: 

It is extremely helpful for the appraiser to understand the level of improvement your property has. Such improvements would be:

  1. Kitchen upgraded – (the appraiser is required to include dates on appraisal form)
  2. Baths upgraded – (the appraiser is required to include dates on the appraisal form)
  3. New flooring
  4. Basement finished
  5. Central air installed
  6. Roof, furnace, hot water heater


Were you aware that appraisers must assign a property a condition rating within the appraisal? The information you provide them may lead them to rate the property higher in condition, which could possibly support a higher value.

Condition ratings the appraiser has to choose from are noted below:

       C1 –   The improvements have been very recently constructed and have not previously been occupied. The entire structure and all components are new and the dwelling features no physical depreciation.


  C2 –  The improvements feature no deferred maintenance, little or no physical depreciation, and require no repairs.

Virtually all building components are new or have been recently repaired, refinished, or rehabilitated. All outdated components and finishes have been updated and/or replaced with components that meet current standards. Dwellings in this category either are almost new or have been recently completely renovated and are similar in condition to new construction.

  C3 –  The improvements are well maintained and feature limited physical depreciation due to normal wear and tear. Some components, but not every major building component, may be updated or recently rehabilitated. The structure has been well maintained.
  C4 –  The improvements feature some minor deferred maintenance and physical deterioration due to normal wear and tear. The dwelling has been adequately maintained and requires only minimal repairs to building components/mechanical systems and cosmetic repairs. All major building components have been adequately maintained and are functionally adequate.
  C5 –  The improvements feature obvious deferred maintenance and are in need of some significant repairs. Some building components need repairs, rehabilitation, or updating. The functional utility and overall livability is somewhat diminished due to condition, but the dwelling remains useable and functional as a residence.
  C6 – The improvements have substantial damage or deferred maintenance with deficiencies or defects that are severe enough to affect the safety, soundness, or structural integrity of the improvements. The improvements are in need of substantial repairs and rehabilitation, including many or most major components.


Action item: List any unique or updated features, approximate date of improvement and cost of improvement if available.

Inlaw apartments:

  1. Are permits in place?
  2. Are there limitations for use  for example only by family, or can be rented
  3. Does use stop with current owner?

Action item: Ensure building or zoning are in place. Ensure final inspections by the town building or zoning department as required have taken place.  Provide all to the appraiser at the time of inspection.

Additions and structural changes:

  1. If homeowner constructed an addition to be used as a bedroom, is there septic? Does this now exceed the septic limitation for number of bedrooms? 
  2. Are permits in place for the addition or major structural improvements and has certificate of occupancy been issued for them? Structural changes would include removal of walls for kitchen expansion, relocating stairway, bath expansion by removing closets, etc.

Action item: Ensure building or zoning are in place. Ensure final inspections by the town building or zoning department as required have taken place.  Provide all to the appraiser at the time of inspection.

Plumbing/Electrical/Windows/Siding updates:

  1. Have the required permits been obtained for the improvement?
  2. Has the town building department inspected and signed off by the town?

Action item: Ensure building or zoning are in place. Ensure final inspections by the town building or zoning department as required have taken place.  Provide all to the appraiser at the time of inspection.

NOTE – It is very common for the homeowner to obtain permits, but never return to the town for the final inspection and sign off. The appraiser may condition the appraisal on the town signing off on the improvements.

Comparable sales:

Let the appraiser know what sales you used to price the home. It is not suggested that you print out every MLS sheet from the neighborhood and hand them to the appraiser. This will not be helpful to the appraiser and can, in fact, be a detriment. 

Action Item: Provide appropriate sales for the appraiser to consider, keeping in mind the appraiser’s suggested guideline for comparable sales. A true comparable is one that a potential buyer would find similar enough to purchase in place of your property.

  1. If available, sales within a mile
  2. Similar in style
  3. Keep in mind the appraiser will need to find sales larger and smaller than the subject (called bracketing)
  4. Similar bath count (subject has 1 bath but comps have 4 – not comparable)
  5. Sold preferably within the past 6 months
  6. If you have personal knowledge of a comparable the appraiser might consider using (such as on the same street) and know the comp is not appropriate, let them know why (condition, lack of updating, etc)
  7. Sales are needed that are similar to the subject’s sale price that meet the above criteria. For example if your property is selling for $350,000, the appraiser will need similar sales in that dollar range. Not sales for $250,000 that are similar in size. It would be impossible for the appraiser to have a reason to come anywhere near that sale price.


Action Items – provide:

  1. Rental agreement dates
  2. Current rental amount
  3. Yearly operating expenses such as water, supplies, paint, maintenance
  4. Age of mechanicals and appliances

Safety hazards:

Action Item- check for:

  1. Are there any obvious signs of safety hazards?
  2. Missing handrails
  3. Rotted deck

Structural issues:

Action Item – check for:

  1. Cracked foundation
  2. Basement cracks
  3. Exposed electrical wiring
  4. Cracked or broken steps