When it comes to buying or selling property, a successful outcome often hinges
upon an accurate appraisal. Unfortunately, due to unrest in the appraisal
industry sparked by government guidelines imposed by the Home Valuation Code of
Conduct (HVCC), securing an accurate appraisal can be hard to come by these
days. Colleagues have shared many a horror story about an appraisal gone wrong
and a client that’s left to pay the price.
As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, however, I have learned that
there are steps you can take to help ensure an appraisal accurately reflects
the home’s value. Consider the following advice:
1. Keep it local. Inaccurate
appraisals are often the result of the current practice of using an appraiser
who is unfamiliar with your community…sometimes, they’re even coming from
another state! Talk to your agent and/or lender and insist that the appraiser
involved is local and, therefore, understands home values in your neighborhood.
2. Utilize comps.
Make sure your lender and appraiser are accurately leveraging comps (comparable
market sales) of local properties sold within the last six months to help
appraise your home. Your real estate agent can help in this area.
3. Put your best foot
forward. If you are selling your home, make sure it’s in the
best possible shape before the appraiser visit. Invest in any necessary repairs
and effective cosmetic changes. Consider how your home stacks up against other
homes in your neighborhood and let that be your guide.
4. Review carefully. Review
the appraisal thoroughly to make sure all the basic facts are correct: square
footage, features of the home, number of rooms, etc. If you find mistakes, call
the appraiser and ask to have them corrected. If the appraiser refuses to make
the corrections, file a complaint with your state’s real estate appraisal
5. Don’t settle. You
are not bound to accept the appraisal results. Both buyers and sellers can
request a new appraisal. There is no guarantee that the bank will accept the
new appraisal, but it can be used to challenge the first appraisal.
An honest, accurate appraisal can make all the difference in your real estate
transaction. Follow the above steps and please e-mail
me for more details. I encourage you to forward this important information
to your social network, as well.