A Recommendation to Realtors

Mortgage and Lending with Advantage Mortgage

In the past it's been really convenient for the appraiser to have access to your property via a lock box.  However, as many of us have found out, a lot of the appraisers being used are not experts in our market and are not using the best data available. 

Based on the input I've been given, I'd suggest taking away the lockbox (once an offer has been accepted) and making an appointment to meet the appraiser at the property in person.  When the appraiser arrives, have a trio available along with recent comps that show the sales activity in the neighborhood.  This will also give you an opportunity to discuss unique features about the property and provide insight the appraiser would not otherwise have. 

When appraisers are making adjustments for the decline in values in our area, they are using data from the Market Action report provided by RMLS.  In come cases, the statistical area in which they are taking their information is very large.  (For example, 143 is a very large area of SE Portland and surrounding areas).  If the appraiser focuses their search and their statistics on a smaller area that is more similar to the subject property, they are likely to arrive at a more accurate value.  A very good Realtor that I worked with recently pointed out just how large some of these areas are and the difference in statistical data between a neighborhood like Sellwood and the overall SE Portland neighborhood.

Good luck with your sales and listings!

Comments (7)

Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Mark,  I always want to meet the appraiser in person for just the reasons you mention !  In some cases there are errors which I can point out.

Feb 05, 2010 04:21 AM
Trevor Elliott
RE/MAX Integrity - Salem, OR

Mark, It is important to meet the appraiser. We all know that listings on MLS sometime are pictured better than they appear and values can be skewed by this.

Feb 05, 2010 04:26 AM
Mark Aalto
Advantage Mortgage - Portland, OR
NMLS: 116708

It's amazing to me how much I learn from really good agents.  Thanks for taking the time to reply.  Meeting an appraiser at the property may be the difference between a good appraisal and a really, really bad one. 

Feb 05, 2010 04:34 AM
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

Hi Mark - I think it is important not only to meet the appraiser but also be familiar (inside and out) with the comps that you think an appraiser might use.  In one case, there was a house that was a stunt double for my listing but I knew the condition of the house on the inside and was able to provide facts as to why it sold for much less.  The appraiser never went in that house; he only looked at the nice pics on MLS.

Feb 05, 2010 05:14 AM
Mark Aalto
Advantage Mortgage - Portland, OR
NMLS: 116708

I think this proves that we are all having to work harder on behalf of our customer whether the customer is a Seller or a Buyer.  Thanks for taking the time to write Peggy.  Good luck with your sales and listings.  It's pretty obvious that good agents figured this out a long time before me.  :)

Feb 05, 2010 05:18 AM
Wendy Rich-Soto, Realtor/Broker Associate
Keller Williams Realty, South Bay - San Pedro, CA
Getting you to your next with a zero failure rate!


You should be present if at all possible.  You want to make sure the job is done and that if you can answer any questions, you are there to do that.


Feb 05, 2010 07:44 AM
Tony Carpenter
Big River Mortgage - Portland, OR


Purchase or Refi:  Agents (Purchase) and Borrowers (Refi) should meet appraisers at the inspection armed with as many fair and accurate comps as possible. It's the only chance to keep them honest and promote quality work.  People are less likely to take short-cuts when you come across as informed and educated. With AMCs it's still a bit of a crap shoot. 90+% of the time you're fine. Preparation can improve your odds on the other 9% but there's still that odd ball. 

We had an issue with a report recently. The value came in $100k+ lower from than an appraisal done 3 mo earlier after client invested $50k+ is legitimate upgrades, updates and remodel including kitchen. 

We asked borrower if he provided appraiser with list of improvements performed. "He never asked for it...never went inside or measured and was only at property for 5 minutes."  

To make things worse, the appraiser falsified photos of a kitchen that was not his.  

I couldn't believe it.  The deal was eventually saved but not without delays and frustrations.  Although reports were filed, somehow the company remains in business is still screwing up reports today. Scary and unfortunate they're taking business away from quality appraisers.  But all the more reason to work to prevent issues for our clients. 



Feb 23, 2010 07:43 AM