Should agents meet the appraiser at the inspection? An appraiser’s opinion.

I get this question all the time from real estate agents: Should I meet the appraiser at the inspection? Here’s my take as an appraiser.

meet the appraiser at an inspection - Sacramento Appraisal Blog

What I Would Do: If I were an agent, I would definitely want to meet the appraiser at the inspection for the following reasons. If my client’s happiness (and my commission) was based on escrow closing, I would surely want to be available in person for any questions. I would optimistically hope to have a conversation with the appraiser to talk about the property, condition, upgrades and how it was marketed too. My goal would be to share some data and communicate how buyers seemed to perceive the property in the neighborhood market. Of course I would be careful with my words so I was only providing information and not using 10 subtle statements to pressure for a certain value. The truth is value is found in the details though, so sharing an insider perspective (not pressure) from agents can really help appraisers get in the mind of buyers (which is the goal). Lastly, I would also like the opportunity to briefly point out features of the property that might impact value or were at least attractive to buyers. It would be fine of course to do this on the phone too if that’s possible, but meeting in person ensures an interaction of some sort.

Fluff or Value: I don’t have a problem meeting real estate agents at a property, but I would definitely rather use my MLS lock box key to inspect a property if the meeting is going to be fluffy – meaning I am handed a stack of very questionable “comps” or the purpose of the meeting is basically to say “hit the number”. This begs the question, if you are meeting an appraiser, are you providing something of value during the meeting? Or is there something more you can do to make the interaction more worthwhile?

information-to-give-the-appraiser-22My Suggestions for Meeting: I get that part of the effectiveness of meeting with an appraiser is how communicative the appraiser is. During loan transactions you never know whether the appraiser is going to be local, experienced or even conversational, so it’s no wonder why some agents have made it standard procedure to meet the appraiser (by the way, appraisers never know what type of agent they’re going to get either).  🙂 This is why I recommend bringing a packet to every single appraiser meeting so you can provide a detailed list of all upgrades, information about the neighborhood and/or specific information about recent sales and listings. If you don’t have a system already, feel free to use my information sheet for appraisers. Save it to your desktop and even let your seller fill out some of the information. Also, check out 6 ways to have a more valuable exchange with the appraiser.

Bottom Line: In short, meet the appraiser. This is what I always tell real estate agents when they ask. But put in a few extra minutes to provide stellar information beyond a few sales from MLS. This makes the meeting more valuable.

Question: Do you meet the appraiser? Why or why not? Any further questions or reaction?

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Comments

  1. Lori Najera says

    I met an appraiser today at an appraisal. Found out that we are 2 members of your fan club.
    She mentioned reading a blog and I asked if it was yours and she said yes! 🙂 Anyway, I met her because you and I had discussed this in the past – I thought this was a no-no, but you educated me at that time with the reasons why it can be a good idea. Once I see the appraisal, I will know if it was a good idea. 🙂

    • says

      Ha ha. That is funny (your use of “fan club”). This makes me smile. Thanks Lori. It’s a joy to share information and build relationship along the way. I think we first met here on the blog or maybe Twitter. I don’t recall which. Keep me posted how it goes. I hope things are smooth for you.

    • says

      You’re right Mark that agents do need to be very careful about pressuring. I don’t think there is anything wrong with sharing research and data, but there is definitely a line that can be crossed very easily. Thanks for the comment.

  2. says

    Great post Ryan, one I plan on sharing with the agents I know. I was just speaking about this today with some agents. I talk to a lot that never have conversations with appraisers so this will help them navigate what they should and shouldn’t say.

    • says

      Thanks so much Tom. I really appreciate that. The world is growing more connected and communicative. Why shouldn’t the real estate communicate be a part of the conversation and share information? We are better off by learning together…. yet there is also a very clear divide. I think you’re a great example of an appraiser who is really being a resource to local agents. That’s good on many levels, Tom.

  3. Alexis Grey says

    I think there are circumstances and properties where it’s very valuable to meet with the agent (listing agent in particular) and open the dialogue. But I think the majority of those occasions apply to complex properties, mixed-use, complex history of the property or unusual terms of the transaction. I also like to meet with agents in areas I’m less familiar with in terms of geographical competence. But these occasions are in the minority. For the most part, I find that meeting with agents is often unnecessary.

    I always encourage agents to forward a list of improvements and any sales data or other information they’d like considered in the report. And I typically do it via email to both listing and selling agent. I will sometimes have agents present a packet of 10+ pages of sales data, which are often sales I’ve already pulled or reviewed. I’d prefer those agents save the trees (and space) and email that info instead (an MLS listing number or MLS map printout will more than suffice). Most any data can be communicated via phone or email.

    I’m all for opening the lines of communication between professions, but agree with you that it needs to be an interaction of substance. It often appears that an agent’s insistence on meeting an appraiser at the property is to assuage their own concerns rather than provide valuable information for the process. But that’s just been my own experience.

    • says

      Very well said, Alexis. I think I should have had you write the post. 🙂 Thank you for your two cents and for taking the time to write a thoughtful response. I am with you in that I do think in most cases it is not necessary to meet the agent at the property. However, if I was an agent, I would probably want to meet to ensure I was communicating everything possible about the property (and working hard for my client). One of the things I try to do is have a conversation over the phone or via email so we can avoid a meeting though – especially in a cookie cutter neighborhood. I have sometimes asked if I could please inspect the property by using my lock box key and then we can have an extended conversation before or after about the property. I definitely want to talk to agents and I try to really initiate conversation too. If getting information over the phone can happen first, it certainly saves me time by being able to schedule my own inspection.

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