In a post-HVCC world, there is both confusion and frustration regarding talking to appraisers. Agents can no longer directly choose an appraiser for most of their deals, so sometimes it seems like appraisal quality is left to chance. Maybe the appraiser will understand the local market or maybe he won’t. Of course the hope is the appraiser is a local expert who will do a thorough job and also initiate contact with the listing agent to ask questions about the subject property too. But that’s just not going to happen in all cases, so it’s important to be ready to talk with appraisers when you can. And yes, you can still have conversations with appraisers about your listings and the neighborhood market – just don’t pressure to “hit the number”.
Tips for talking to Appraisers:
- Meeting: If you can’t meet an appraiser at an inspection, be available by phone or email.
- List of Updates: Provide a detailed list of all upgrades to the appraiser (with costs if possible).
- Background Stuff: What helped you establish the listing price? Or why did your buyer choose this specific property and pass on others? Bring market research to the inspection to help show how you arrived at your price level. Don’t tell the appraiser which comps to use and how to do his job, but rather share information to illuminate your perspective on marketing. Say something like, “here is some market data I used in my research” as opposed to “here are your comps”. You can always share this information on the phone or email too.
- Offer Activity: Were there many offers or showings? What were potential buyers attracted to? Let the appraiser know things like, “I had 14 offers all above asking price in two days” or “No showings at the original list price, but then I lowered the price and had 12 showings in 4 days and 4 offers.”
- Inside the Neighborhood: Is there something you know about the property, neighborhood, street or market area that might be helpful and contribute to the overall value? If the property is selling high above all others, why is that? Are distressed sales selling for less in the market? What are the features in the neighborhood that buyers are willing to pay more for? Share your hyper-local insight and any resources you might have.
- Play Nice: Some agents never return phone calls or act impatient when an appraiser calls. My advice? It’s nice to talk with personable communicators.
Things NOT to say to an Appraiser:
- Deal Killers: Talking about another appraiser that “killed your deal” doesn’t help the current deal or paint a professional image of you in the mind of the appraiser.
- Do your job!: “Here are the best comps” (sounds like you are trying to steer a value conclusion)
- Higher please: “Get the value as high as possible”
- Lower please: “Get the value as low as possible” (yes, I do hear that one)
- Make it Happen: “Is this one going to make value?”
- The Real Hope: “Is it going to appraise for at least the sales price?”
I hope this was helpful. I’d love to hear any tips you have too. What has worked for you? What has been frustrating for you when dealing with a post-HVCC world? Do you find most appraisers to be open to conversation? Do they ask you questions?
If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact Lundquist Appraisal by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook or subscribe to posts by email.