Appraisers & Their Conditions! How can We agents be Proactive vs. Reactive?

Real Estate Agent with Dyer-Walker Real Estate 01273104

I tell you! After 9 months, we finally have short sale approval on both loans, the buyer has loan approval, inspections and disclosures are done, Then... the Appraiser throws a monkey wrench in it with a list of conditions!  


How do we as agents stay proactive in making sure the home will meet an Appraiser's Standards?


We know FHA and VA the house has to be move in ready... it must have appliances... if there's a hole, there must be an appliance!


However, how do we as agents know when the existing steps that lead into the house, don't meet the "new height requirement" of 6-6inches; especially when the house was built in 1978? Or the posts in the deck are too wide, because in the last 10 years, the codes have changed where it must be 3 inches apart vs. 5 inches apart? Or the hand rail isn't constructed with a 4x4 post? I mean, come on... Not that I don't understand... but, when we take a listing, we're already advising our clients that ‘less is best, strap the water heater and clean up the yard". Now we have to measure the height of the deck, the posts and make sure the steps to the house are constructed with a 4x4 post!


What other codes have changed in the last 10 years? 5 years? 3 years? Will we ever know before the appraiser gets there? Are we suppose to? We can't possibly keep up with everything..... but, we don't want last minute costly surprises before we close escrow!


So help us appraisers! Can you save us from being blind-sided from new codes with older homes!


Should a Seller get an appraisal before they place the home on the market to be proactive for repairs? What do we have to do to prepare our seller's for last minute costly repairs from Appraisers? Or should we keep an emergency kitty for unexpected fixings... like the pad in escrow... Tell me... How can we be proactive in 2010 with these 1978 houses that don't meet recent codes!

Comments (4)

Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate

Erika- Appraisers are being so conservative these days. You finally get this short sale through all the ups and downs, and now this. Hope it works out for you.

Sep 19, 2010 04:34 PM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Erika~I sure hope appraisers flock to your blog entry and weigh in. The problem is, though, that each appraiser seems to be marching to his/her own drummer. I think the regs are so thick and so intricate, that each appraiser sort of has hot buttons.

BTW, your artwork is so cute!

Sep 19, 2010 04:36 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Erika - Excellent information on appraisers. Thanks for a very good blog.

Sep 19, 2010 05:35 PM
Erika Dyer

Thanks Guys! I know right! I can problem solve all day long, but this one was a new one for me! the steps weren't high enough, railings, they even said the mirror closet door was cracked so replace or remove it!!! That's a first! And,.. it was a nice house! $1800 later... we moved some stuff around! Scott I'm still trying to figure out all the features of active rain! I did love your last post! Thanks Liz! I'm learning! :) 

Sep 20, 2010 04:14 AM