Lender Resource Series: A Lender’s Role in Smooth Appraisal Orders

Every lender wants their closing to go smoothly, and that includes the appraisal. One thing lenders can do to help ensure that their appraisal order doesn’t get delayed is to submit all needed information upfront. This ensures that we don’t have to go back and forth, requesting additional data over a period of days or even weeks.

Here’s a comprehensive list of all the documentation you should have on hand when you sit down to place an appraisal order. Some information will be the same regardless of the loan type or loan program, while other orders may require additional details.

Critical data required for every order:

In addition to the above, there may be order-specific information needed, based on the loan program, loan type and/or purpose. Here are some examples.


Each purchase order should always include a fully executed contract, along with any addendums or amendments. You may not always have all this information at the time you place your order, so please let us know when it will be available. You can also go ahead and upload the information that you do have.

Please keep in mind that a portion of the appraisal report requires the appraiser to analyze the contract, so a report could be made “Subject To” receipt of the contract. In addition, the FHA has a requirement that the appraiser have the contract in hand to proceed with the report.

When you submit the contract information for purchases, any additional information for accessing the property is very helpful as well. For example, if you have any lockbox codes, scheduling restrictions/requests, etc., please send that information as well. This will help minimize delays in accessing the property.


Contact information for the borrower or another party that may provide access to the home is one of the more critical items in refinances, as they are the only ones that can provide the appraiser access to the inside of the property. Any information regarding contacting the borrower is helpful as well. Some examples of necessary contact information could be that the borrower responds best to text messages, or the borrower works nights, so please call before 3:00 pm.

Tenant Occupied Properties:

With purchases and refinances of investment properties, the ability to gain access around a tenant’s schedule can play a role in the appraiser’s ability to gain access to the property. Please be sure that whoever is noted as the point of contact also has the ability to schedule entry around the tenants.

Condo / Co-Op Questionnaires:

Although not all loans will require you to order a condo or co-op questionnaire, if the appraiser cannot obtain the answers through the normal course of business, the delivery of the appraisal may be delayed until that information can be obtained. Not having the data could also result in a “Subject To” appraisal report awaiting the complex’s information via a questionnaire. Appraisers will make every effort to find the information, but this can take time. Some HOAs will require an appraiser to pay a fee to gain this information, so they could also be forced to pass the fee along through the order.

FHA Orders and 203K/HomeStyle:

All FHA orders, regardless of type, will require the FHA case number. This ensures that the dates for the case number and the appraisal report are aligned and do not cause any delays in getting the order moving forward. Most appraisers will require the FHA case number before they will schedule an inspection.

203K and HomeStyle reports that are completed “Subject To” will require the work order/bid so that the appraiser is aware of the work being completed. The appraiser will also need the work order/bid to insert into the appraisal report so that all parties reviewing the file are aware of the repairs/renovations being completed.

High End / Acreage Properties:

High End Properties: Make note of any special improvements in the home that the appraiser should be aware of prior to the inspection for comparable selection. This can include solar panels, pool/pool house, guest house, unique improvements, etc. Here’s one example we have seen - a property had a fully accessible natural cave underground that had over $80,000 worth of improvements completed!

Acreage Properties: The more information you can provide on these types of properties, the better! Please be sure to include (in the order instructions) the number of acres, additional buildings that may be on the property, special assessments that you may be aware of, if the full number of acres is being used for this particular loan, any surveys, etc. If the full acreage is not being included in the appraisal, a survey will be required showing the home and the acreage included.

Desk and Field Reviews:

Typically, when these orders are placed, when done outside of the required QC reviews, there have been multiple revision requests or value rebuttals. We try to not pull any appraisal reports from our system to have the new appraiser review. We always want to get the report that you have in hand (that you are looking to have the review done on) to ensure that we are all looking at the same file. In addition to the appraisal report that you want to have reviewed, please send along any additional docs like contracts, addendums, surveys, etc., so that the Review appraiser has all the same information as the Original appraiser.


Is it possible that an appraiser may still ask for more documents, in addition to the above? Sure - it happens sometimes. That said, if we can get all the critical information up front (at the time the appraisal order is placed), this will help eliminate the need for additional information prior to the due date. We will always try to catch these things upon processing your assignment, to give you a heads up if items are missed upon ordering. At Triserv, we are more than happy to do anything we can do to help you make the ordering process as easy as possible. That’s what we’re here for!

Triserv Appraisal Management Solutions is a 50-state appraisal management company renowned for its service-first culture, national panel of appraisers, and cutting-edge technology. Triserv is laser-focused on building customer confidence, improving operational efficiencies, and driving superior performance. Our ultimate goal is to create sustainability and best-in-class customer service for our lender base.

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