Top 5 Tips for Securing an Accurate Appraisal

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
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.
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.
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
for more details. I encourage you to forward this important information
to your social network, as well.

An Enlightening Weekend

As a Realtor, you never know who you will run into to discuss our business.  This weekend was no different for me.  I was invited to attend a political function for an incumbent who is attempting to keep his seat as a delegate for our area.  Of course, Chuck Caputo is the right candidate and the right person for the job and, for our area, we need him to be re-elected.  His views on education, business and transportation for our area far exceed his competitor’s opinions on how to continue to run our region and for us to stay the number one state to do business in 4 years in a row. 

But I digress, at this function I had the opportunity to meet Mark Warner and we discussed our local real estate market.  Our conversation included inventory levels, supply and demand challenges, trends in housing prices, profiles of our purchasers, as well as HVCC and the First Time Buyer $8,000 Tax Credit.  Over the last several years, we have discussed the need to know your numbers, and know the trends in our business and to have them ready to discuss at any time.  As a result of staying abreast in these areas, I was able to accurately convey why we need to address the HVCC issue but more importantly, the need to extend the First Time Buyer Tax Credit.  In our discussion, he told me he was going to vote to extend the credit!  It is a wise decision to keep the housing sector of our economy moving forward and to help continue to bring our country out of the recession.  When it comes to making the right decisions about our economy, we need to knock down political affiliations and work together for the common good.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

Now, go sell something!

All is quiet on the Western Front

All is the same over the last month or so – same issues with short sales, foreclosures, etc

Agents are being more demanding and asking for shorter timelines – short sales are bringing out the worst in other agents.  Agent’s frustration over short sales are carrying over into other transactions.  Agents have an all gloves off mentality.  Buyers and sellers are also frustrated because of timing of getting deals done, HVCC, TIL, etc. 

Nip unprofessionalism behavior in the bud.  Track all conversations in writing with agents.

First time buyers are antsy – wanting deals to be done so they get the tax credit, get rates locked in, and get closed.

Notice of trustee sales is at an all time high

The highest month of foreclosures were September of ’08 – trustee sales today are 30% higher than that

Market is slowing – sales are down because inventory levels are down

Commercial market is about to tank – financing is gone – only sources are pension funds, insurance money and conduit lenders are the only avenues.  No new construction can be financed either.  Churches and schools are building but back log is diminishing.  Commercial market is in directly opposite of residential market.  Death, divorce and relocation are our salvation as well – people have to move!

Titanium is in control of 31,000 people in our area who are in one form of distress – not foreclosed on by the bank yet.

The attached article was also discussed.

Outlying areas are coming back strong – we are doing better than other counties – including Maryland.

That’s it – go sell something!