Realtor's Guide to Success with  Appraisers

Senior Man Working from Home

Do's

Do these things when meeting an appraiser

  • Bring a dated list of improvements so the appraiser doesn't have to guess when things have been updated.

  • Open all the doors and turn all the lights on. This saves the appraiser time and helps with the photos. 

  • If you bring comps for the appraiser, make sure they are in the immediate area and include your own opinions about them; Things like: floorplan weirdness, quality of updating, and anything not mentioned on the MLS. 

  • If you include pending sales in the comp listings, it would be helpful if you give the contract price or indicate if it's way over list price. 

  • Do some basic market research within the MLS to see the highs and lows of the micro neighborhood over the past year. Sometimes appraisers can overlook a small segment when doing a larger market analysis. 

  • Physically point out the top three features that contributed to the sale. Emphasize non-traditional/unique elements. 

  • If the property received multiple offers, that is very important information. It is useful to  give the appraisers a list of the offers received.

Don'ts

These common errors can jepardize your license

  • NEVER request an order be cancelled by a lender because you don’t like the appraiser or because it appears the house won’t appraise at the contract price. This is against the law.  

  • Asking an appraiser if the property is going to “come in at sale price” is illegal. The appraiser is in violation of their feduciary relationship with the lender if they disclose any of their findings to you (an interested party). This includes: the value, adjustments, condition ratings, GLA vs basement areas, their fee, and how the subject compares to the area. You can discuss facts about the home, such as: the number of bedrooms, the lot size, the property rights, etc. 

  • Appraisers cannot accept photos from you or the owner for their reports. The whole point of appraiser photo requirements is to provide unbiased confirmation for the lender. This includes smoke/co detectors.

  • Doing inspections for appraisal companies (Hybrids or Desktops) can lead to serious consequences if you make an error. In performing these inspections, you are acting as an appraiser but without an appraiser license or insurance. 

  • Listing a hillside home? You may want to get the home measured by a professional. County records are famously incorrect and you do not want to get an appraisal back only to find out the subject is 1000sf less than what was listed on the county record. You may be held liable for such a large error regardless of the disclosures used on the MLS platform.