You had an appraiser come out to your property last week and the appraisal is still not complete. It’s been 10 days!! What is going on? Here are some reasons why the appraisal might be taking so long.
- Liability: Appraisers have to support the value in the appraisal report and be liable for that value, so appraisers should take their time to finish a job right (within a reasonable time frame of course).
- Juggling Work: Keep in mind appraisers are likely juggling many different appraisals at any given moment. This means all files in an appraiser’s briefcase are probably not being worked on every single day. If an appraiser only had your house to appraise, it would be easier to finish the appraisal sooner.
- Complex Assignment: If your property is complex, it may take longer to finish the appraisal since there is simply less data available for comparison. Most of my lender clients want appraisals back in 7 calendar days, which is usually very doable. However, when a property is out-of-the-ordinary for some reason, it’s nice to have more time. Sometimes upon inspection the appraiser will find out the property is much more challenging, so that can warrant a need to renegotiate the due date. I find most private party clients for divorce or “Date of Death” do not operate on the same time table as lenders since it is much more common to have easily 2-3 times as long to complete assignments.
- Extra Days with the AMC: Appraisals for lenders are often ordered by AMCs (Appraisal Management Companies). The appraiser might have completed the appraisal in a timely manner, but it could have sat in the hands of an AMC’s processor for an extra day or two on the front end and then an additional day or two on the back end as the appraisal goes through the AMCs quality control before the report is actually sent to the loan officer.
- Client Timeline: If the appraisal was ordered from the lender, find out what the actual timeline was that the lender gave the appraiser. After all, the lender may have given the appraiser 14 days. If a client gives an appraiser a long leash, the appraiser is likely going to enjoy the luxury of more time.
- Busy Schedule: If an appraiser is incredibly busy, that may unfortunately push back deadlines. That’s never ideal, but it happens in every industry.
- Lack of Professionalism: There are of course examples where an appraiser simply mishandles time or an appraisal, which can cost a client money. There is no excuse for that.
Advice for hiring a real estate appraiser:
- Ask the appraiser when the report can be in your hands (before you hire the appraiser). Be sure you are on the same page about deadlines.
- Let the appraiser know when you specifically need the report.
- Have realistic expectations about time.
- Get something in writing about when the report will be completed. The appraiser likely has an order form that you can fill out (get a copy of the order). Or you can always talk via email back and forth and use that conversation as your agreement.
- If you need something right away, you might want to offer to pay a “rush” fee.
- Be leery of “fast and cheap” appraisal marketing. If you have a delicate situation and you do have the luxury of time on your side, find an appraiser who will take more than 24 hours to appraise your property.
- Sometimes clients might say something like, “I know the report will be in my hands next week, but can I just get the value now?” The value ultimately comes at the end after all research has been completed.
I hope this was helpful.
Question: Do you have any stories to share or any questions? Let me know.