10 Ways to Get a Better Appraisal

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

10 Ways to Get a Better AppraisalAppraisals are an important part of the process in purchasing or selling a home. More than ever, the appraiser has the power to determine whether or not a sale goes to the closing table.

As if it were not difficult enough to value some homes in today's real estate environment where often there are no comparable sales in the last year or more, the government swoops in to 'correct' the abuses in the appraisal system, and the consequences of HVCC are that appraisers are traveling a long distance sometimes and are doing more work for less pay. Even if an appraiser has local knowledge, they may or may not do a thorough investigation of the comparable properties and they may choose to use Comparable Sales that are not ideal.

It is imperative that a real estate agent meet the appraiser when one of their listings has sold. This is not to try to influence the appraiser in any illegal way, but to give them the best information, so that the appraiser can value the property accurately. An added bonus is the information you will learn from the appraiser if you ask questions.

10 Ways to Get a Better Appraisal

1. Meet the appraiser at the house. Take the lockbox off the door after you get a contract so an appointment will have to be made.

2. Give the Appraiser as many Comparable Sales as you have for the subject property. If it's a property where there are few or no comparable sales, go out in a radius search until you find some. Go back as far as a year or even more if it's a special type property (waterfront, for example). Realize that the appraiser may deduct value if the sale is further than 3 months out.

3. Call the agents for the Comparable sales to get as much information as possible for the appraiser. The house that sold down the street that needed a new roof - they need to know that, but it's probably not in the MLS information.

4. Give a complete list of every upgrade and improvement that has been performed during the seller's ownership. Be sure to include maintenance items as well as cosmetic upgrades. There is a category for "condition" on appraisals and although it won't match dollar for dollar, it will be mentioned.

5. Be sure to note when flooring is "hardwood" instead of "wood" or "laminate." Be specific about other surfaces (granite vs. corian) and improvements. A glazed 42" raised panel cabinet with full coverage costs most than Level 1 42" cabinets.  Thermador appliances are more valuable than GE Profile, for instance, and an appraiser's quick trip through the house may not take in such details.

10 Ways to Get a Better Appraisal10 Ways to Get a Better Appraisal

6. Give them a copy of your Marketing materials, including the beautiful photos you have of the interior, exterior and grounds.

7. Be sure to note anything about the lot - the Preserve not only on the side but across the street, for instance. Note the size of our lot vs. any comparable sales (if it's to your advantage).

8. Local appraisers probably know the Community amenities, but it never hurts to also give a list of those as well.

9. If there are communities nearby that are not really good comparables, a map with some notes about the lack of amenities, production starter homes vs. your community with custom homes on estate lots, etc., can be very helpful to someone from out of the area.

10. Be gracious, not pushy. Even if the appraiser is from 100 miles away, respect and helpfulness will go much further than a condescending, "You drove all the way from there?" attitude.

If you make the effort to be sure the appraiser is well educated about your listing, you have a much better chance of the house appraising and the sale going through. Appraisers' work hasn't lessened but many times their fees have been cut in half or more. Anything we can do to help is in the Sellers', Buyers', ours, and the community's best interest.

Happy Selling!

 

Original Photography, All Rights Reserved. *10 Ways to Get a Better Appraisal*

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About the Author: Sharon Alters works with her husband, Frank. They are in the top 5% real estate agents for production in the Jacksonville Florida area, specializing in Military and Corporate Relocation in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, St. Johns, St. Augustine and Beaches areas. Their local knowledge can help Relocating Buyers find the perfect lifestyle, whether it is a Castle on the Ocean, or a Cottage in the Country. 

Call/text 904-673-2308 or sharon@teamalters.com

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Re-Bloggged 12 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
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Topic:
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the art of appraisals
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Rainer
3,033
Frank Chirkinian
Short Sale Army

Great advice, you put a few new tricks in my hat.

October 19, 2009 11:33 AM
Rainmaker
260,268
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First

That is very good advice. It does not pay to alienate the appraiser.

October 24, 2009 09:10 PM
Rainmaker
139,910
Michele Rose
Moorestown Home Staging & Redesign
Rose-Colored Staging

Sharon, there are defintely tips in here I will save and use.  I've done many of them but not all.  On my last appraisal, the appraiser would not take any info from me at all and then the appraisal came in $12,500 low.  He would not budge.  Other appraisers have been very accepting and appreciative-- many times it depends on who you get.  Thanks for a great post!

December 01, 2009 01:58 PM
Rainmaker
971,016
Sharon Alters
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

Frank, glad to help.

Wayne, most definitely not.

Michele, as you can see in the comments, appraisers come with all types of personalities and likes and dislikes. It just depends on the person - just like all the different kinds of real estate agents!

 

December 01, 2009 08:19 PM
Rainer
153,983
Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate
RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.

Hi Sharon,

Great tips. Good post. Thank you for sharing with us. All the best.

 

Best - Sash

January 03, 2010 12:03 PM
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