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Sellers Need to Know about The Appraisal Process on their Home

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Executive Realty

If you’ve hired an experienced Real Estate Agent, s/he will have a discussion with you about procedure and what challenges you may face during the selling process. One of those challenges can be the appraisal process.  

When buyers put an offer in on a home and it’s accepted, they begin the financial process of securing a mortgage. One step in that process is having an appraisal on the home. The bank wants to be sure (as does the buyer) that what they’ve offered for the home is in line with  the value of the home. Sometimes offers will include a contingency that may read like  “Subject to the home appraising at or above full purchase price”. Even if that’s not in the offer – it is often in the pre approval and in the P&S. (In MA - offers are written to start the process and after inspection, terms are documented in a P&S).  Shortly after P&S the appraisal is usually done.   

 In any case, the bank will not commit to a loan unless they can confirm the property's value. . Selling your Home

So what is a listing agent to do to position the house to the appraiser? And more importantly what do the current laws allow? Appraisers and Lenders have specific rules about what is allowed in terms of communication. A 2010 law requires no communication between lender and appraiser. This is to avoid the possibility of collusion between the two parties.

Because of that law the extreme tightening of rules and regs in the mortgage industry, may make realtors believe they too cannot share info with the appraiser.  As a seller you should ask the agent you're hiring how they will handle the appraisal process and you, the seller, should know what agents can and can't do when interfacing with the appraiser - Read more about how listing agents should prepare for the appraisal process. 

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