Home Appraiser’s Goal

Appraiser’s Goal is “True” Home Market Value

Complaints that home appraisers are ignoring home appreciation have become t0o common lately. So common that it was the topic of a recent Sunday column by nationally syndicated writer, Kenneth Harney. According to the piece, those in the real estate business say the issue has led to sunken deals and could really hurt the market’s recovery.

The words “low appraisal” basically means that the appraisal came in less than a list price or a contract price. But it’s not the intent of the appraiser to just tattoo a contract price, their intent is to be a third party, be objective, and present a document that is fully supportable to the client.  They are making a sound business decision regarding a loan. 

There are different motivations that go into making a home purchase and one of the biggest things is that it’s an emotional decision for both the buyer and the seller. It’s very emotional for the sellers to establish a listing price and there is more that goes into it than what true market value price is. Appraisers are looking are not only looking at the construction components, but also what the condition of the components are as well as what the acceptable standards are.

For the longest period of time neutral colors have been in vogue with property owners and buyers. You don’t want a house that has purple carpeting that the owners installed, because that’s not necessarily what the market wants and the appraisers may deduct for something cosmetic.

It’s not the appraisers intent, nor should it be, to set the market – it’s to interpret the market. Some appraisers are scared about over-valuing properties, which was done in the subprime-lending days when there were no qualifications to get a loan. Appraisers are licensed and certified by the state, so if they’re arbitrarily reporting bad values that are inaccurate, they’re at risk for for censure, fines, revocation of their license, etc. 

We are in an environment where there is an “eBay system of appraisers”…. an appraisal request goes out to the entire universe of appraisers and it’s about who can do it fastest and who can do it the cheapest. You have lenders making multimillion-dollar decisions on loans and they’re tripping over the pennies for that professional opinion. 

So what’s within the power of a consumer to make sure he or she is getting a fair appraisal? Consumers can not request a particular appraiser, but they can let it be known through a conduit (an appraisal management company) that they want someone from that particular area and someone with professional credentials….. have a great lender and realtor to help you out!

Dee Marie Fisher

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