How to Find a Good Appraiser

By
Real Estate Appraiser with Highlands Ranch Appraisals, LLC CR100001997

When it comes to finding a real estate appraiser, many homeowners don't know what to look for. Here are 5 things to look for in a property appraiser:

  1. Always make sure a property appraiser is licensed or certified by the state to perform real estate appraisals. This will ensure that the individual has met certain standards and is authorized to perform a property appraisal. The state will also show any disciplinary action if the individual has one. A good source for all of U.S appraisers are listed at http://www.asc.gov
  2. Don't be afraid to ask an appraiser for a copy or his or her license. A good appraiser will readily provide documentation. Copies of licenses are commonly requested by their other clients and once you have the copy it is a good idea to check with the government agency (as stated above) to ensure it is active and in good standing.
  3. Ask the appraiser what percentage of their work is performed in the neighborhood. Appraisers who do a lot of their work or live in a particular area often have a deeper knowledge of the market and property values then others outside the area.
  4. Find out if the appraiser has experience in performing appraisals for consumers as opposed to real estate professionals. Homeowners would have different needs than a loan officer or a lawyer. An appraiser who understands the different needs is more likely to help you learn about the appraisal process and answer any questions you may have.
  5. Make sure it is an appraiser who is willing to answer you questions and willing to explain the process. An appraiser that makes you feel more comfortable with the process is a true sign of a professional.

 

No appraisal is an exact science but if done properly the appraisal can give a credible result. Through market analysis a trained appraiser can give an opinion of value which can be relied upon and be well supported with the proper analysis.

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Rainmaker
173,450
Richard Glesser
North Country Appraisal Services - Gaylord, MI

One of the most reliable methods of locating a good appraisal is through referrals.  I recommend local credit unions and smaller local banks as well as Realtors who have knowledge of competent appraisers.  Too often over the past several years since HVCC has taken control of the appraisal process through AMCs, local competency is interchanged with proximate.  An appraiser who works locally may not be the most competent appraiser for the assignment depending on the type of property and the difficulty of the assignment.  Too often I have found some local appraisers to be the least competent.  USPAP does not address proximity when defining competency.  The most highly qualified appraisers, Certified General, have the ability to appraise complex properties regardless of location and proximity.  So far as points 4 & 5, USPAP does require reports to be written so that they are understandable to the Intended Users.  Again, many appraisers merely "crank out" appraisals for homeowners in the same manner as those for lending purposes; thus, not making the report understandable to the Intended Users.

Jun 11, 2011 03:37 PM #1
Rainmaker
90,411
Craig Chapman
Call Realty / Access Appraisals - Mesa, AZ
The Value Guy

I agree, take an appraiser who has been working in a city for over 20 years for example. They have probably been in nearly every neighborhood & has experience that far exceeds a lic. appraiser of maybe 4 - 5 years. But the more experienced appraiser may be 10 miles away from the subj & not get the assignment because the greener appraiser is 1 mile away.  Now tell me who is in most cases the better appraiser?  Still hard to say, but the most experienced should be.

Jun 16, 2011 01:19 PM #2
Rainer
30,666
Danell Estrada
Highlands Ranch Appraisals, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO

Richard and Craig I agree, referrals are the best way. I also think that local is not always the best indicator of a good appraiser, as the one who takes the time to do the research and show a better supported value under experience is more likely to be more accurate then another appraiser who throws the appraisal together and just picks the middle adjusted sales price for the value with little explanation. Those lazy appraisals that are throw together and give little thought I have seen done by appraisers with 25+ years experience, with SRAs, MAIs and/or even a General Appraiser.

I would think more is expected from them, but after seeing over 3 of them like that, it seems they worked their way up to the high license or designation by the easier standards 25-30 years ago and now do not live up to the standards of the field today. There are more requirements then 30 years ago.

Now of course most of the ones with that much experience probably do the quality appraisals, but I guess it is not all of them. Not all appraisers follow USPAP as I have seen in reviews.

Jun 16, 2011 01:54 PM #3
Rainer
406,842
Jack Hughes
Hughes Appraisal Group Inc. HUD/FHA Approved) - Lehigh Acres, FL

Good post and Good Feedback. Most of my work comes from referrals, which I appreciate because the person who referred the client to me felt confident enough to pass on my name.

Jul 01, 2011 11:56 PM #4
Rainer
30,666
Danell Estrada
Highlands Ranch Appraisals, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO

Jack Referrals are always the best! Hope you get more!

Jul 02, 2011 09:34 PM #5
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Rainer
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Danell Estrada

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