In today’s market it’s common to see appraisals come in under- inflated. You might think,’ I’m selling my house for $500,000 and this buyer wants to pay me $500,000. We all agree; it’s that simple.’ Not exactly. If the buyer is getting a mortgage it’s now up to the bank to determine their own value of the home. They will hire an independent appraiser to come up with a value. And you better hope that person’s opinion of the value is for $500,000, otherwise the entire deal could unravel!
Nowadays, the system is all run through 3rd parties and mortgage brokers cannot speak directly to the appraiser. This is to control fraud and having the lender influence appraisers’ value. Although the system is not perfect, it makes sense to have these two parties at arms’ length of each other. The problem is if an update or anything is needed to the actual appraisal it can take days to get that corrected due to the chain of command that must be followed.
It’s commonplace to see appraisals coming in lower than what people are willing to pay for a property. That’s a big problem because our market is increasing now and it’s hard to find comparable sales to support these new, higher prices that people are willing to pay. If you are selling, here are a few things you can do to help with the appraisal:
- Request a local appraiser. It’s common to get an appraiser from out of the area and that can be detrimental to your home’s value. Try to avoid this if possible.
- Provide your own comparables to the appraiser if you know of recent closed sales that are similar homes and nearby. This might be information the appraiser can use in their report.
- Keep track of improvements to your home. Make an upgrade list and a spreadsheet of actual costs you incurred in remodeling – all this can add to the value.
- Clean up the yard and landscaping and de-clutter inside. Give the home a nice appearance inside and out; it can make the home appear larger inside and give a more pleasant feel outside.
- Is your house one story or two? Are there some unique features that make it more desirable to buyers? In my neighborhood, the one story homes sell much faster than the two stories. An appraiser might not know that if you don’t tell them.
Gabe Mellein was voted a Top Real Estate Agent – Exceptional in Service and Overall Satisfaction by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2012 and 2013. He is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties, Inc and has over 9 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market. He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate. Need real estate help? Please contact Gabe at: 239.825.2234, Gabe@GulfPointeProperties.com or www.GulfPointeProperties.com