I know what some of you are thinking. Appraisers have been screwing up real estate deals, and now some appraiser has the nerve to tell Realtors how they need to talk to appraisers? No, that’s not where I’m coming from at all. My goal isn’t to talk at anyone, point my finger or wave a victim flag, but instead improve communication in the real estate industry. I’m passionate about that, especially since I regularly rely on my Realtor relationships to do my job.
Today I want to share 10 subtle (or not so subtle) statements that in a small way can come across as trying to influence an appraiser’s value. These statements are very normative in the real estate industry, aren’t they?
10 questions and phrases to pressure appraisers to “hit the number”
- I’ll be happy as long as it appraises for at least the sales price.
- Do your best to get the value as high as possible.
- The market has been “on fire”. You shouldn’t have any trouble with the appraisal.
- Is it going to come in at “value”?
- I never say this, but if you can just work some magic this time, you’ll be my hero.
- If this doesn’t “appraise”, the seller is going to go into foreclosure.
- I would be shocked if it didn’t “appraise”.
- I really hope this works out. No pressure or anything though.
- The son has cancer. It’s been really hard on the family. The last piece to wrapping up this transaction is the appraisal.
- I don’t want to ask you to do anything unethical, but just do your best.
Agents Laugh: Whenever I share these statements during classes I teach at real estate offices, agents always chuckle. Why? Because we all know how common they are. Of course I don’t think most Realtors are trying to overtly steer an appraiser to a certain number. After all, coercion is kind of a big ethical deal. It’s rather a matter of simply using lingo that is a regular part of real estate culture – but maybe shouldn’t be. When we begin to really think more deeply about subtle statements like these, what is the real goal of using them? And are statements like this ethical in the eyes of the DRE?
The Pressure Test: How would you know if you are trying to influence an appraiser’s value? It really comes down to motives. If you find yourself saying one of the statements above while talking with an appraiser, ask yourself: “Why am I saying this? What is my goal here?” If the appraiser asked, “Why did you tell me that?”, what would your response be?
My advice? It’s probably best to use language that cannot be interpreted as pressuring for a certain value – whether high or low. If you find yourself using subtle statements like this, ask yourself what you are really trying to get across to the appraiser. How could you do that without pressure statements? Honestly, it likely feels tricky sometimes to be able to communicate with appraisers these days in light of HVCC and Frank-Dodd, but with some focus and strategy, there are definitely ways to chat and convey good information to appraisers – without trying to steer a certain value. If you’re looking to communicate more effectively with appraisers, check out Quick tips for agents for talking to appraisers and Agents, be ready to answer these questions when appraisers call.
Lowball Reality: Lastly, I know lowball appraisals are plaguing the market. It’s a real problem, and I’m not dismissing that reality for anyone who has lost a deal because of legitimate appraisal issues. I know a post like this can be frustrating to some who really don’t want to communicate at all with appraisers because of so many bad situations in the past. However, no matter what the past or future, the best thing we can do is communicate well and work with the system we have.
I hope this was helpful. Anything you’d like to add?
If you have any questions or Sacramento home appraisal or property tax appeal needs, let’s connect by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email (or RSS) or “like” my page on Facebook