One of the worst things that can happen to a loan is to have it delayed or declined due to problems with the appraisal. However, there are some things you can do to stack the deck in your favor. Here are a few of them.
Fix that cracked window. I know that might be a little nitpicky but it will likely delay your loan. In the worst case scenario, your lender may require you to fix the window then pay a hundred dollars to get the appraiser to go back out to the home and make sure it's fixed. If the window is on a shed in the back yard, do not worry about it. If it is on the garage, whether it's attached or not, or on the main house, have it replaced. It's a simple fix that will not kill the loan.
If you've got some kind of a shop in the back of the property and a half dozen cars on the lot, you'll have a hard time convincing the lender that you are not making any income on your property. Income producing properties have stricter guidelines at the least, and usually a higher interest rate to go with it. Remove the cars before the appraiser comes out to inspect your home. I have run into this problem more than once.
Take a look around your house. If you notice a small crack in the dry wall near the ceiling you could have a problem. In reality, it could just be the paint cracking. However, appraisers are trained to look for problems, actual ones or potential ones. If the appraiser sees that little crack he will be thinking, leaky roof. You're thinking cracked paint and he's imagining water leaking in from a hole in the roof that is seeing in your living room and making the paint crack. That little crack, it's a deal breaker. Take some spackle, fill it in if need be, then repaint it; end of story. This one is also a common problem, but it is easily fixed.
Same goes for a little water mark you may see on the ceiling. That little water mark could be from anything. Maybe your kids got a little carried away with their squirt guns one day. Once again, your appraiser is thinking leaky roof. That little water mark is a deal breaker. Paint over it before he comes to inspect your house.
In a similar vein, look under the sink in all the bathrooms in your house, as well as the one in the kitchen and laundry room. Do you see any water marks from dripping water? Maybe it's condensation, maybe it's a leaky pipe. You really do not want your appraiser putting in the report that you have leaking pipes in the main bathroom. While it may not be a deal breaker, it will delay the loan. You will be required to replace the pipes and then pay to have the appraiser come out again and verify that the problem is taken care of. Get out some paint and get rid of the problem before the appraiser says it's a problem.
Those are just a few problems that can wreak havoc on your refinance. They are so easy to fix, just go around your house and property and take care of them before the inspection. Be honest with your Loan Officer or broker and tell him about the issues. He's not going to leak the info to the appraiser. He wants to fund your loan as bad as you do. Good luck and happy borrowing.