If you meet appraisers at your listings, do you feel like you have a valuable exchange or are you simply handing over a stack of comps?
Help for Agents: Today I want to give some quick tips to help facilitate better interactions so real estate agents can communicate well about their listings and appraisers leave with a deeper understanding of the property and transaction. I realize that some appraisers a
re pretty much non-communicative, but even if that is the case, you can still get across good information by following the tips below.
- Prime the Meeting: When setting up the appraisal inspection, let the appraiser know you have a packet and you hope to have a quick market conversation during the inspection. Also, ask the appraiser if there is any information he or she needs during the inspection. Remember, a conversation goes two ways, so don’t just talk at an appraiser. An experienced appraiser will be able to offer market insight or even answer some of your questions.
- Leave Your Baggage at Home: Treat each meeting as a new opportunity. If you felt the last appraiser you encountered was a dimwit, leave that in the past. It can be easy to bring baggage, anger or frustration into new situations, but that’s hardly ever helpful for the present. In short, be professional and emotionally fresh for the new situation.
- Advice on Giving “Comps”: If you do provide sales and listings to the appraiser, make sure they are actually competitive (similar) rather than the highest sales in the neighborhood that happen to meet the subject property’s contract price. I recommend providing a full detail MLS print out too (including the other agent’s information) so the appraiser does not have to re-print your sales to get the full scoop. This saves paper and time. If you want to go the extra mile, take a few minutes to write notes on the top of each sale to help highlight differences between the subject and other sales.
- Focus on Insider Details: Help the appraiser understand how the market responded to your listing. How many offers did you have on the property? What price levels were the other offers? Why was there a change in listing price? Why did the seller accept the particular offer instead of others? What have you noticed happening in the neighborhood market? This sounds like quite a bit of information, but it’s really only a few sentences. Rehearse answering questions like this so you can quickly tell the story of your listing.
- Info Sheet: Give the appraiser an information sheet that has already been filled out by the home owner (or you). I created the following form to easily provide more information about recent updates, the neighborhood or anything else that might be relevant. Remember, value is often found in the details. DOWNLOAD HERE for free as a PDF or WORD document. I recommend saving the Word file to your desktop. Feel free to edit the form to your liking.
- Quick Tour: Don’t hover over the appraiser, but do point out anything that helps the house stand out. What has been attractive to buyers? Is there anything different about this house that is more or less appealing than other homes in the neighborhood?
It’s easy to let these details slide because life is busy, but taking time to prepare to meet the appraiser is definitely something worthy of building into the rhythm of business. Every other detail in the transaction is handled with great care and attention, so it seems fitting to do the same with the appraisal inspection too.
I hope this was helpful. Any stories or questions? Comment below.