The Right Way to Work with Appraisers

Kudos to Florida REALTOR® magazine for its substantive look at how to deal with appraisal issues that come up during a sale. The article quotes National Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Valuation Committee member Francois “Frank” Gregoire. Gregoire told Florida REALTOR®’s Richard Westlund that salespeople can be a valued source of information. “As soon as a property is under contract, start gathering information to support the sales price. Be sure to include information that may not be readily available from other sources, such as offers and how quickly the property went under contract,” he said in the article.

The article also cites the new suite of appraiser tools available to NAR members through the Realtors Property Resource®. To learn more about RPR and its use in appraisals, visit: http://blog.narrpr.com/appraisers/.

Stacey Moncrieff

Stacey is vice president of business-to-business communications for the National Association of REALTORS®, overseeing the association's key communications with NAR members and REALTOR® association executives.

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  1. Even with all of the evidence and a well prepared rebuttal just be prepared that an appraiser is under no obligation to change their appraisal.
    I recently closed on a traditional sale house that had multiple offers that needed to be updated and the appraiser used a similar house that was sold in a short sale in the same community sold 4 months earlier that was torn down before we started the process of the sale.
    I sent the bank and appraiser Pictures of the new home that was half built where the old home stood as well as pointed out that short sales sell at a discount to traditional sales but the appraiser would make no changes. the interest rates changed by close to a half point between when we started the process and when the appraisal came back. If I changed banks It would have cost me more in the long run than swallowing my pride and accepting this flawed appraisal.

  2. Tim in Fla

    Take note of the lenders you refer your buyers too. Ask who the lender uses for for Appraisal Management and how appraisers are selected. If you have had bad experiences with a particular AMC before then it may be best to search out another source of mortgage funding. Independent Mortgage Brokers typically have little control over this process as it is the “end lender” that selects the AMC (usually one they own or control) so its hard to blame them. But ask these questions before you get to far down the line with a deal. The best way to make sure that your specific deal gets the local and experienced appraiser assigned to do the appraisal is to insist it from the beginning. The Mortgage Broker will let the AMC know out of area or inexperienced appraisers won’t be tolerated. For after the fact issues I suggest going directly to the lender or their choice of AMC and lodging a complaint with them.
    Most AMC’s are now regulated through the individual states, just like individual appraisers, and can be sanctioned excatly the same way individual appraisers can be. If you ever find a lender that uses an AMC that sends out local appraisers with a good amount of local market experience, use them. Don’t worry so much about the fee. What good does it do to save your buyer/borrower $25 – $75 when the “el cheapo” AMC shoots out somebody from 50 – 100 miles away and the appraisal comes back deficient.
    It never hurts to contact one of the local appraisers you know and ask them which AMC they prefer to work for and which lender is attached to that AMC.
    Remember thast individual appraisers have little control over the specific reporting requirements that AMC’s demand. These vary by AMC and they are all in competiton which otrher for lender business. It appears that “cheap and fast” is still the main criteria used to assign appraisers to a specific appraisal job. Quality, experience, knowledge …all secondary. Do your homework on this, your deals will work out much better.

  3. James

    I’m an Certified Appraiser w/ University Degrees in Business & English w/ a Brokers License. 12 years of BofA vendor experience.
    I’m the guy they send in from far away because there is no competent local Appraiser. ITS THE BANKS MONEY, if they want to send someone out THEY TRUST, my advise would be to go with the flow.

  4. I have experienced a few appraisals that I considered to be a bit low and on every occasion we’ve been successful in getting the appraisal revised by submitting the proper comps and our reasoning for the requested review.

    I’ve also had low appraisals where I coudn’t contest it, because the appraiser was correct.

    Then again, I’ve also seen some appraisals come in at values that I was very happy to see because I was expecting a much lower number.

    After all, the vast majority of appraisers are doing excellent work and if in some cases they are outside of their comfort area, most welcome some help and assistance about choices of comps as well as the local market influences.

  5. A good appraisal can be a huge step in selling your home. It’s true that appraisals can either be too low or pleasantly too high– but appraisers go through significant training to get to their career so it’s best to accept their assessment of the property.
    An appraisal is a vital step in the selling and buying process, so just remember that they have their own guidelines they have to follow when appraising your home.