Should real estate agents give appraisers “comps” at an inspection?

To give comps or not give comps? That is the question. I met up with Realtor Steve Ostrom last week and we talked about whether a real estate agent should give an appraiser “comps” or not when meeting the appraiser at the inspection. Steve talked about why he always meets the appraiser at the property and I gave some tips for interacting with appraisers around this issue. Due to HVCC, there is still some confusion over whether agents can even talk to appraisers, but they definitely can (just don’t try to pressure for a certain value). Check out the video below (or here). Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from other agents and appraisers especially. Any questions?

NOTE: In quite a few cases the “comps” provided by real estate agents are really not all that “comparable” to the subject property. It can be valuable when agents share their market insight with appraisers, but my advice to agents is to make sure the sales really are comparable and located in the same market area. This comes back to the difference between a property that is truly competitive / comparable (“comp”) to the subject and a sale that meets a certain price level.

If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.

A direct view into the neighbor’s shower

Having an open window is not an option in situations like this unless you want to get famous on YouTube as the “showering neighbor”. I’ve talked before about “fenestration“, which is a fancy word meaning the design and placement of windows (and other openings) in a building. While it’s nice to have so much light in a bathroom, it always amazes me to have views like this. Whether taking a shower or brushing teeth, mostly everyone would want a bit more privacy, right? This house also has windows in the Master Bedroom and at the bottom of the staircase with direct views into neighboring houses.

What do you think of the view?

Photo of direct view into neighbor's shower by Sacramento Appraiser

If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.

How to challenge a low appraisal

Did you try to get a loan or sell a property but had appraisal problems? I hear all the time from real estate agents, home owners and investors about bad appraisals that killed their deals. What can you do about a “low” appraisal? Honestly, not much sometimes, but you can at least write a well-reasoned cordial letter to the lender to ask the appraiser to reconsider the value in the report based on support you offer in a brief letter. I’ve seen some clients have success with the points I explain in the video below when they legitimately do have a “low” appraisal. When I say “low” too, I’m not talking about a value that is lower than the sales price because we all know market value and price are not the same thing. I really have in mind an appraisal that is truly botched and plain bad. By the way, you can read a blog post about challenging low appraisals in case the video is not working for you.

I’d like to hear about your situation with a “low” appraisal and what you did about it. How did the appraisal impact your deal?

If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.

Is a wobbly ceiling fan an FHA appraisal issue?

Might this ceiling fan be a safety issue for an FHA loan? What do you say? No biggie or an issue that’ll require repair before the loan can close? Have a look at the brief video below (or here) and let me know what you think.

If you said yes for being a safety issue called out in an FHA appraisal report, you are correct. FHA is primarily concerned that everything in a house works properly, there are no health and safety issues and there is a sense of economic longevity for the house too. Had I continued the video for a bit longer, you would’ve seen the fan shake even harder. If you don’t think it’s a safety issue, would you put your child’s bed underneath a fan like this? Probably not.

While an issue like this needs to be corrected before an FHA loan can be guaranteed, it’s really not a big-ticket item. Either the fan needs to be repaired or replaced or a cheap light fixture can be purchased and installed in its place. This is an older property and ceiling fans didn’t even exist when the property was built, so a simple light fixture is entirely reasonable in this case. This is not just my opinion either, but the Santa Ana FHA Home Ownership Center said the same thing during a recent phone conversation.

NOTE: This does not mean all wobbly ceiling fans will need to be repaired or replaced. This is where the FHA appraiser is subjective and has to use good judgment according to FHA guidelines and/or the spirit of FHA.

Let me know if you have any questions or insight. I hope this was helpful. You can see more FHA appraisal articles here.

If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.