Do you want to become a home appraiser, but you’re not sure what appraising tools you need? Never fear! We put together a list of 10 Appraiser Tools & Supplies Every Home Appraiser Needs. This list covers the absolute essentials you will need before becoming a home appraiser.
Top 10 List of Appraiser Tools & Supplies
If you’re coming from outside the trade professions, these home appraiser essentials could be quite an investment. However, if you are an existing trade professional or diy’er you may already own a lot of these items, which will make preparing for this new career much less expensive.
A ladder is a must-have tool for a home appraiser because they need to be able to access all parts of the house, including attics and roofs.
What kind of ladder do I recommend? First, don’t go with a cheap ladder. Instead, invest in a quality ladder that is secure and ensures your safety since you will be using one a lot. Also, I prefer a multi-position ladder. This type of ladder allows you to adjust the legs of the ladder in case the surface is uneven, such as on stairs.
- Recommendation: Check out multi-positional Gorilla Ladders available at The Home Depot.
- Alternative: Check out Ladder-Aide if you already have a quality ladder, but it’s not multi-positional.
Don’t like heights? Check out appraiser tool #9.
Square footage is a top factor in a home’s appraisal value and ensuring those numbers are accurate is extremely important for a home appraiser. In addition to calculating total square footage, you’ll be verifying each room’s dimensions. You definitely need at least some type of measuring device.
There are different types of measuring devices. I recommend a laser measurer, AKA LDM. They are easy to use, can measure long distances, and provide a clear, exact measurement.
Not a tool, but a home appraiser spends a lot of time researching and creating reports. You need a computer. Feel free to go with your preferred brand, but a recommend a laptop over a desktop, has enough Random-Access Memory (RAM) for your required reporting software, and has a Solid State Drive (SSD).
SSD is becoming the new standard for computer hard drives because they are less likely to malfunction during transportation and from accidental drops.
- Recommendation: 2023 Lenovo Yoga Laptop (choose from various models). This laptop has great RAM, SSD, is touchscreen, it can fold and be used as a tablet, and is a fair price for a quality laptop. Lenovo is also one of the top-trusted computer brands.
- Review: Read this Forbes review of Lenovo Yoga 2023 laptops and tablets. Also, Eric and I each have a Lenovo Yoga as our personal laptop and enjoy them. Even my Apple-loving husband loves my Lenovo.
- Carrying Case: DeWALT Tool Backpack has its own dedicated laptop-protected storage pocket and can carry all your other appraiser tools and supplies. Read our TIA Review to learn more.
A DSLR camera is another essential item for a home appraiser. Your reports may require photos and it’s also good to have photos for your own reference when creating reports and responding to questions. Technically, you can use your phone’s camera. However, I think separating your work from your personal is better for organization.
A flashlight is essential for making correct assessments of properties. A flashlight will help you see into dark and hard to see areas the homes, such as in attics, basements, or even behind or around large appliances.
You don’t necessarily need a full-size flashlight, but I recommend at least a pen light.
- Recommendation: Husky 5,000 Lumen LED USB-C Rechargeable Focusing Flashlight 3-Pack from The Home Depot.
- Review: Check out our past TIA Husky Flashlight Review.
6Infrared Laser Thermometer
You may not use an infrared laser thermometer every day, but you need to be prepared for everything. An infrared laser thermometer is great for client’s who are selling their home by owner. The quick reading will provide the homeowner with needed feedback.
A Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is an inexpensive tool that provides instant data about a home’s outlets. Obviously, the state of a house’s electricity directly impacts that house’s value. This is also extremely valuable information for the homeowner getting an appraisal done before listing. A GFCI Tester isn’t required, but offering circuit readings could make you stand out compared to other home appraisers.
A screwdriver might be your most used hand tool as a home appraiser. However, it’s good to have a small variety of hand tools.
Heights not your thing? Don’t sweat it. Thanks to modern tech you can check out high-up areas of a home like the roof with a drone.
- Recommendation: The most important spec to look for in a drone as a home appraiser is photo quality. Amazon has tons of drone options with 4K video quality in the $200-$400 range. I also recommend a drone that comes with its own carrying case.
A tablet is a great home appraisal tool, especially if you choose to not go with a hybrid laptop option for your business computer. The most important features to look for in a tablet are good storage, RAM, note-taking capabilities, and a built-in camera will also be helpful for a home appraiser.
- Recommendation: Samsung Galaxy Tablets Check out options from your cellphone provider or preferred computer brand. Otherwise, are several well-reviewed options in a variety of models to fit most budgets.
- Alternative: A simple notebook and pen is a great tech-free and low-budget alternative, especially for beginners. For more rugged options, check out these Rite in the Rain products. We reviewed them earlier this year and were really impressed.
Appraiser Tools Wrap Up
That completes our top 10 list of Home Appraisal Tools and supplies that you will need to start your appraisal tool career change. As you gain experience as a home appraiser you may discover more home appraisal tools that make your day-to-day easier. However, these 10 tools should help you embark on this new career with confidence.