This post is a shoutout to people who hold one of the hardest jobs in the real estate industry: appraisers.
Appraisers are real estate professionals who estimate the valuation of a property. Most lenders, and all who are regulated by the federal government, require an appraisal to justify their loans. And even though the buyer pays for the appraisal (either directly or indirectly), the appraiser’s fiduciary responsibility lies with the lender.
That misalignment of interests leads to appraisers catching hell from both buyers and sellers. If the appraiser’s valuation of the house comes in significantly lower than the contract price, there are three possible outcomes:
- The sale fails.
- The buyer comes up with additional funds to cover the difference.
- The seller reduces the price to enable the transaction to proceed.
In any of these cases, at least one of the parties is unhappy, and the appraiser is an easy target.
Oddly, if the valuation is much higher than expected, the seller probably never finds out about it and remains happy. The buyer thinks they got a great deal and is ecstatic.
But appraisers are infamously conservative in their valuations. Why? First, their fiduciary responsibility is to the lender. But more important, they can be held accountable by the lender if the loan goes south and the lender can’t recover the loss after foreclosing on the property.
So what can you do to help get the valuation you want?
- Be there to respectfully answer any questions about the property.
- Provide a list of comps that support what you need out of the sale.
- List all the repairs and improvements you’ve made to the property.
- Let the appraiser know of any amenities like parks, employers, hospitals, or shopping that might not be apparent.
But never tell the appraiser what you think the property is worth. That crosses the line from providing factual information to undue influence. It puts your appraiser in an awkward position and may actually reduce the appraised value because of it.Hermann says please like and share!