Real estate appraisers in Massachusetts are required to be licensed. They are trained in Uniform Standards and must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.
It's important to note that when an appraiser comes to evaluate your home he or she is required to look for and report on particular deficiencies in your property. These deficiencies can be easily detected by homeowners and corrected prior to the appraiser's arrival.
- Peeling paint of improvements anywhere on premises-lead base precaution (mandatory on pre-1978 construction)
- Broken/cracked glass
- Missing/loose safety handrails on stairways or loose/damaged/missing safety railing on decks or retainer walls over 30" high.
- No vents to crawlspace or attic: no or inadequate access to these areas. (Have them readily accessible for appraiser).
- No vent fan/or window in bathroom. (Usually found in additions or basements).
- Iron security windows grates that do not swing-out for emergency exit.
- Marginal safety appearance of electrical/plumbing/heating.
- Debris-such as broken glass, garbage, old paint, oil, anti-freeze, batteries, cans, piled brush, etc. (usually found in crawlspaces, yard areas, behind garage, or on back 40!)
- Major electrical power lines too close to dwelling/garage.
- Loose/damaged floor covering and walks or driveways (Upheaval/settlement) that could cause injury by falling. (Local building codes preside, however, over 2" is likely dangerous).
- Paint/stain peeling to bare surface
- Missing or damaged gutters or down spouts where drainage is marginally away from improvements
- Leaking plumbing or bath/shower tiles missing or damaged
- Holes against foundation that may allow water penetration (usually from pets)
- Landscape drainage toward the improvements
- Missing/damaged/curling roof shingles or covering
- Free standing water or dampness is frequently evidence of poor drainage, leaking water pipes, or high water tables (seasonally)- May need electric sump pump
- Structural damage from any cause-usually expansive soils, poor drainage, or the combination
The existence of any of the above items may cause an appraisal requirement which, creates more expense and time delays. Solving these problems in advance will save both time and money plus enhance your property value. Additionally, many of these deficiencies are either safety hazards or problems that could cause further damage to the home and should be fixed.