Front Door had an article about home appraisals. Having your home under contract is the first step in selling your home and moving on but an appraisal is a necessary hurdle you must jump. Here are things you should keep in mind in the post-housing bubble appraisal world.
1. They are taking longer than they used to - weeks instead of days.
2. They cost more than they have recently - depending on the area it could be a couple of hundred more than it used to be.
3. They are leaning towards undervaluing houses instead of risking over inflating the value.
4. If possible, sellers should get involved and be present during appraisals - let them know about upgrades you've made, bring "before" pictures, it can't hurt your case.
5. Appraisal rules will get worked out, eventually:
“On July 28, the Federal Fair Housing Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued an alert to all lenders clarifying two points that had made a lot of people in the industry upset.
They said that appraisers should have clear experience in the geographic area. If they don't, they should be reported to state appraiser licensing agencies. And appraisers, contrary to popular belief, are not prohibited from talking to the real estate agent.”