I know, nobody actually reads appraisal reports. Well, except for one thing – the value. But let’s talk about a critical place to look in an appraisal that can make all the difference. I have a story to share too about why this even matters.
BONUS: Check out the new new sales volume graphs below.
Look for these boxes: The bottom of page two in the appraisal has a few important boxes the appraiser can check, and these boxes help show if the value is “as is” or if there are required repairs, inspections, or other conditions. My advice? Be sure to look at these boxes carefully as well as any commentary listed in the space below (or the addendum if it says “See Addendum”).
If the value is “as is”, the appraiser is saying the property is worth that amount without any required repairs or further inspections needed.
If a “subject to” box is checked that likely means the value has already taken into consideration certain repairs or that the property will pass a future inspection (maybe a pest inspection, foundation inspection, two-year roof certification, etc…). So if an owner does the repairs listed, it doesn’t increase the value because the value was already based on the repairs being made.
In short, if you see a box checked besides “as is”, that’s a clue there is more to understand about the value.
An example of why this matters: A real estate agent uploaded an appraisal I did into MLS. This appraisal was completed for a lawyer and the value was not “as is”. In fact, this property had extensive damage, but the attorney asked me to value the property as if it was in average condition. This was spelled out blatantly in my report by using the boxes above (and in other places).
The problem here is the selling agent may not have realized the appraisal was not “as is” because the listing said something like, “Appraised at $670,000 in August 2018.” Yet the property was listed for $100,000 less because it was being sold “as is.” So the question becomes, could this be a liability for the agent? What if an out-of-town buyer bought based on thinking he/she was getting a discount because of the attached appraisal? Also, does this expose the appraiser to liability or reputation damage if people are reading the report and not understanding the value isn’t “as is”? I’m not a lawyer, but something doesn’t quite smell right here.
I’m not trying to make a big deal out of this, but sometimes details matter, so I caution real estate friends to look closely at the appraisal to understand the value. By the way, the agent was cool about removing the appraisal when I reached out about this.
The Big Point: Please read the bottom of page two to understand if the value is “as is” or if there are repairs built into the value. That can make all the difference.
I hope this was interesting or helpful.
SALES VOLUME SLUMPING: On a different note, here are some graphs I made yesterday to tell the story of sales volume slumping 11% in the Sacramento Region. I included a graph from 2005 also in case you’re wondering what volume did when the housing market imploded.
Questions: Any stories to share? Do you look at the boxes I mentioned above? When is it okay and not okay to upload appraisals in MLS?