Appraisals - The "Unknown" Factor in Rising Tucson Real Estate Prices

Real Estate Agent with Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ SA564219000

Appraisals - The "Unknown" Factor in Rising Tucson Real Estate Prices

Sitting at weekly staff meetings at my Long Realty Office in Dove Mountain, I'm well aware of the challenges of getting homes to appraise during Arizona real estate transactions.  I'm not the only one wondering what the outcome will be.  

Contemplating the outcome of a Tucson appraisal

On one particular listing of mine in SW Tucson, two different transactions on the same property afforded me a glimpse into the wide, wild world of the Tucson Real Estate Appraisal.

A quick bit of background on the Tucson Real Estate market right now - inventory is low, prices are slowly rising, and some pocket neighborhoods are experiencing multiple bids, and accepted offers in their first days on the market.

So, back to the SW Listing.  It was a real estate flip, and thus needed two appraisals in order to satisfy the lender underwriting conditions.  Appraisal 1:  109K  (same as offer/contract price)  Appraisal 2:  105K (two weeks later)

The buyer was eventually declined the loan due to income factors, and the home went back on the market.  A new offer came almost immediately, but four months had passed since the first appraisal. A new one was ordered.  Remember, we have a low inventory, fast-selling, rising market value here in Tucson...

The buyer, knowing the Tucson market, had a offer price of $115,000. He wanted to be sure to beat out any simultaneous offers. Appraisal 3:  101K.

Handling appraisal negotiations between seller and buyer is another subject, for another blog posting.  

Today, let's look at how to "help" an appraiser in valuing your property.  These are just some of the things I do, and my opinion only.  I'd love to hear your own ideas and hints as well in the comment section below.

What do we take away from this experience shared above?  How can one prepare for an appraisal, without "interfering or trying to unduly influence" the appraiser?

Well, for one, really come up with some LIKE properties for comps.  Do your research and provide both ACTIVE and SOLD listings, especially if there are trends affecting pricing going on.

Have a past appraisal?  With the seller's permission, you can share this information if you think it's pertinent and helpful.

Compile a list of improvements, additions, enhancements your seller has made.  List values, even if only approximate.  Be fair and honest...the appraiser knows the values of things.

Working together professionally

Write a nice, brief cover letter thanking the appraiser for the dilligence and time.  Highlight what you feel is most important about the property.  Enclose your card, and give the the appraiser at the end of his/her assignment.

Today's appraiser and I found a little common ground, she was receptive to my assistance in sharing the booklet we'd prepared, and we briefly touched on a little background information.  It was a very professional, and positive experience.  I think a little kindness goes a long way, and if one of my future sellers is looking for an appraiser - she'll come to mind.

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Tucson, AZ and want more information on the appraisal process?

I'm happy to help and a phone call, text, or email away.



Posted by

If I can assist you in your home buying or selling in Marana, Tucson, Oro Valley, or Vail, please don't hesitate to call me!  Email at

Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Long Realty,


Regarding the material posted in my blog postings, these are my personal opinions and not those of Long Realty Company. 

All listing information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified through personal inspection by appropriate professionals. Listings displayed on this website may be subject to prior sale or removal from sale; availability of any listing should always be independently verified.

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Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Nice post with great information. Hope you have a wonderful week. 

Oct 24, 2012 05:30 PM #1
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

If they will allow you, there is nothing like helping the appraiser to determine the best comps and the differences.  Sometimes they won't let you though.  Good for you for working it through with the second appraiser.

Oct 24, 2012 07:10 PM #2
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Cara, being prepared to help is key.  As Jane said, some appraisers just won't let you because they have a "know it all" attitude.  But, this is a "group" transaction - buyers, sellers, agents, appraisers, lenders - we should all work together to make these transactions work, not work separately to mess them up.  

Oct 27, 2012 02:26 PM #3
Larry Weaver

What about VA appraisals...  we just got a low-ball appraisal of $100k on a home listed at $125k.  The home sold a year ago for $75k in distressed condition.  The current owner sunk many $$$ and a lot of time into new interior, carpet, driveway, exterior repair and paint, retaining wall, etc...  well into the $50k range, but wouldn't a "challenge" or "ROV" request take too long and produce little in the way of results?  Also, for all of us veteran's, old and young, isn't this just another way the government is letting us down, by devaluing properties that are otherwise affordable and attractive to the vet buyer?  Thanks for your opinion on the subject.

Nov 08, 2012 04:48 PM #4
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Larry - I've seen that happen, yes I have.   It's a challenging time in real estate.  I appreciate the time you took to share your story.  FHA and VA appraisors are trying to protect the consumer from purchasing over-valued properties.  It must be a safe, complete, livable home.  It just seems some times to be going too far.

Nov 08, 2012 08:49 PM #5
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Cara Marcelle Mancuso

Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!
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