Appraisers rely and count on the information in FMLS/MLS listings. As a Realtor you can help get the most out of your listing and the Appraisal by following the steps below. Feel free to Forward these newsletters. There is a link below to do so!
1. PHOTOS, PHOTOS, PHOTOS: Put as many photos in the listings as allowed. We need CLEAR and LARGE File size photos (many times I see those small photos and even when you click on them they do not enlarge, so they are basically useless for our purposes) Photos should include any UPGRADES and RENOVATIONS to Kitchens & Baths, etc. If the home is on the Lake, get some good Lake View shots from the home and from the boat dock. I still see on occasion lake homes with NO photos of the lake. ** If the seasons change, take new photos as nothing makes it more obvious as to how long a home has been on the market if you have winter time shots in the summer (This is not only a benefit for your seller but if your listing has some awesome flowering trees, shrubs and a nicely landscaped spring and summer time yard, it helps to see that in the photos and can translate to more value). What I have seen that is a nice touch is photos of the house in all 4 seasons if the owner has them.
2. In your public comments section, please include YEARS and types of renovations: ie; New Roof-2007, new HVAC-2006, Updated or renovated Kitchen and Baths-2011. Appraiser MUST have the years of renovations going back 15 years for these major items. The more detailed you are there is a better chance for an accurate appraised value. You will also be better off as you will get fewer calls from Appraisers asking for this data. If you want to upload a BRAG sheet in FMLS do so and make a note in the comments so they do not miss this.
3. PLEASE include square footage when possible from the builder or owner or prior appraisal. The courthouse records are not always accurate as you know. I am noticing that Realtors are stating the source of square footage is "APPRAISAL" when it is actually the Courthouse data and many times it is inaccurate. Please only state Appraisal in this area if you have one in hand from an Appraiser as other Appraisers might take this to mean the square footage is from an actual Appraisal and wrongly put more weight on that number than they should. Realtors are also showing the total square footage from an actual appraisal by including the finished basement area. Please only include the GLA shown on the appraisal report, which is that area above grade. We need to be consistent between Realtors and Appraisers or this could negatively impact your Listings come sale time. If an appraiser is using data from another listing which has included the basement, against your listing/sale, this could drive the value of your listing downward. Not Good!
Please Do not quote The Total Gross Living area you see in Courthouse records as that typically includes not only finished basement space but GARAGE space as well. There is another square footage number which is the lower number below the TOTAL gross area and that is the most accurate of the numbers provided from courthouse data.
** You would be better off not quoting any square footage if you do not have something like a Builders Floor plan, builder square footage quote or prior appraisal **
In your Public or private comments you can add the additional square footage in the basement if you wish for selling purposes. But please keep it separate in the Square footage section.
4. If you have LOT dimensions please include them in the listing or upload a copy of the plat. Not only does this help the appraiser but it helps potential buyers. Most courthouse records have a plat with dimensions, but not always.
5. Just a note on commentary in your listings. If you are going to say Won't last long....and then the home is on the market over 3-4 months, please change your wording. Many times I have seen a listing that says "priced to sell or won't last long" Then I look at days on market and in many cases, the days were longer than most of the others in that market.
6. I would also suggest not stating the home is priced under appraisal. (I would keep the fact that an appraisal was done to yourself until you need it). The first thing someone will ask themselves is why is it priced under appraisal and when was that appraisal completed? Use that appraisal as your trump card. If someone asks how you came up with your listing price you can then say we have a recent appraisal on hand.
Please click on the link above: Advantages of having a Pre-Listing Appraisal.
7. I have seen many new construction listings which state "Stock Photos" and that is good! Appraisers need to know that is not the actual home they are looking at in FMLS. If you can provide a FINAL finished product photo of the actual home, that would be beneficial because appraisers will be looking at that sale as a comparable for at least a few months after the sale.
That wraps it up for this month. Appraisers appreciate full, complete and detailed listings in FMLS as they rely on them every single day. Thank you for whatever you can do to help not only your sellers but your local appraiser. Listings CAN and do make a difference in Appraised Values.
*List every home as if it were your own. Some of the BEST listings I have seen were Owner/Agent Listings*
Mary T. Thompson
Certified Residential Appraiser