I get this question all the time from real estate agents: Should I meet the appraiser at the inspection? Here’s my take as an appraiser.
What I Would Do: If I were an agent, I would definitely want to meet the appraiser at the inspection for the following reasons. If my client’s happiness (and my commission) was based on escrow closing, I would surely want to be available in person for any questions. I would optimistically hope to have a conversation with the appraiser to talk about the property, condition, upgrades and how it was marketed too. My goal would be to share some data and communicate how buyers seemed to perceive the property in the neighborhood market. Of course I would be careful with my words so I was only providing information and not using 10 subtle statements to pressure for a certain value. The truth is value is found in the details though, so sharing an insider perspective (not pressure) from agents can really help appraisers get in the mind of buyers (which is the goal). Lastly, I would also like the opportunity to briefly point out features of the property that might impact value or were at least attractive to buyers. It would be fine of course to do this on the phone too if that’s possible, but meeting in person ensures an interaction of some sort.
Fluff or Value: I don’t have a problem meeting real estate agents at a property, but I would definitely rather use my MLS lock box key to inspect a property if the meeting is going to be fluffy – meaning I am handed a stack of very questionable “comps” or the purpose of the meeting is basically to say “hit the number”. This begs the question, if you are meeting an appraiser, are you providing something of value during the meeting? Or is there something more you can do to make the interaction more worthwhile?
My Suggestions for Meeting: I get that part of the effectiveness of meeting with an appraiser is how communicative the appraiser is. During loan transactions you never know whether the appraiser is going to be local, experienced or even conversational, so it’s no wonder why some agents have made it standard procedure to meet the appraiser (by the way, appraisers never know what type of agent they’re going to get either). 🙂 This is why I recommend bringing a packet to every single appraiser meeting so you can provide a detailed list of all upgrades, information about the neighborhood and/or specific information about recent sales and listings. If you don’t have a system already, feel free to use my information sheet for appraisers. Save it to your desktop and even let your seller fill out some of the information. Also, check out 6 ways to have a more valuable exchange with the appraiser.
Bottom Line: In short, meet the appraiser. This is what I always tell real estate agents when they ask. But put in a few extra minutes to provide stellar information beyond a few sales from MLS. This makes the meeting more valuable.
Question: Do you meet the appraiser? Why or why not? Any further questions or reaction?