Appraisal Tips for Owners and Real Estate Agents

How to Obtain a Good Appraisal….

The business of appraisals has changed since I started my real estate career many years ago…. especially when the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted in 2010 which I wrote about in a previous blog “Appraisal Scoop 2012“.  The essence is that real estate agents and lenders can no longer contact the appraiser directly. 

Therefore, there are a few good tips on how to obtain a more accurate appraisal than in the past years….

  1. Give a brag sheet – all the positive items about your home that indicated value to you when you purchase the home.
  2. Provide comparable sales  – those that are very similar to your home and the relevant details to support it.  This is part of your real estate broker’s services…. hopefully!
  3. Admit to any illegal additions or have the building permits for the additions on hand.
  4. Appraisers need to see the exterior and interior of the home…. have it in showing condition.
  5. Florida law states there must be smoke alarms in the home.
  6. For condos, provide the homeowner association contact information or call to obtain number of units and how many are owner-occupied.
  7. Explain anything unusual about the home…  state repairs that will be completed, alley way access to the home, or….
  8. No need to state the obvious —- that you have maintained your home by replacing hot water heaters, A/C, updated ;plumbing – unless it is an upgrade from previous plumbing that other neighbors have not done.

Remember that lenders are required to give the mortgage applicants a free copy of the appraisal report. Also, many sellers would like to see a copy of the appraisal on their home; however, since the buyer/mortgage applicant is the one who paid for the report…. they do not need to share it.

What questions do you have about appraisals?  I can answer some of the questions and for the more technical ones, have you contact one of the appraisers I know…. just send me an email at [email protected].

Dee Marie Fisher