Appraisals – can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. A topic we have covered numerous times, appraisals have been a consistent source of headaches for agents in the post-boom market, with contract failures a common result of the process.
As agents, you are not powerless when it comes to appraisals, and these are three things you should consider:
- Localization – Make sure your lender finds an appraiser that is locally based, especially one that is familiar with your county or a neighboring county. It has become increasingly common for lenders to outsource the appraisal process, resulting in appraisers from far-off areas who have little knowledge of the nuances of your market.
- Credentials – Always, always request that the appraiser have the necessary certifications and designations, such as the SRA, or senior residential appraiser distinction from the Appraisal Institute, or the MAI designation.
- Engage – Do not be afraid of meeting and engaging with your appraiser. Even if the appraiser is locally-based, chances are you have a better grasp of your property's market than they do; share that knowledge with them. It will better ensure that short sales, foreclosures and other distressed comps do not negatively impact your home's value.