You Don’t Have to Sit Still During Your Real Estate Appraisal.
Hopefully, any real estate professional you interact with in your life will be just that- professional. A quality, well trained real estate appraiser will know the appraisal process forwards and backwards- in fact, most appraisals are conducted on vacant properties or when the owners aren’t even present.
If you’re getting a real estate appraisal, obviously there might be a few things you’d like to discuss personally with the person deciding how much your home is worth. While you probably mean well, if you don’t do this correctly, it can ultimately distract the appraiser from giving your home and the appraisal report the attention it deserves.
Here are three quick, easy ways to assist your appraiser:
1. Suggest Similar or Comparable Homes In Your Area.
Real estate appraisers should be acquainted with the areas they work in- it helps them recognize changing market trends over time, homes that stand out from the neighborhood, and just generally develop an over-all familiarity with the area. Regardless of how good your appraiser is- they probably didn’t watch children grow up there, or regularly drive back and forth between your house and the grocery store. If you can think of any homes in the neighborhood that might be similar to yours, it’s a good idea to present their addresses to help the appraiser choose better comparables for their report
2. Tell Them About Any Recent Updates To Your Home (in Writing).
Appraisers try to take every detail of your property into consideration when working on a report- but as always, there are a few areas they can’t recognize all the time… unless you tell them. It’s always a good idea to list any recent remodeling, renovating, restoring, (what’s the difference?) updates, repairs- anything you recently spent money on to improve that value of your home could be noteworthy.
Updates to plumbing or electrical wiring are two classic examples of things appraisers don’t check for– that’s more of an inspector’s job. Try to detail these items in a written list explaining the extent of the update and their cost. It’s important to do this in writing: not during the inspection.
3. Don’t Crowd or Hover Over The Appraiser.
A quality real estate appraisal requires the appraiser’s full attention. Measuring a home can be difficult at times- especially if your home has an open or unusual floorplan. If you want to tell your appraiser about your new heated bathroom floors, or how all the doors in your home are made of mahogany, do so in the detailed list mentioned in the last tip. Following the appraiser around can make for some awkward moments. If you feel you must, wait until after the appraisal is mostly over, or tell them you’d like to share something with them the next time they can stop to listen during the appraisal.
Jonathan Montgomery Founder and President of the The Real Estate Appraisal Group. He has been a real estate professional since 1998. He’s been a broker, and investor, and now serves as an appraiser. He currently works as an appraiser, doing real estate appraisals in Washington D.C., Southern Maryland, and Northern Virginia.