There has long been an issue of relationships between Realtors and Appraisers and many times that relationship has been adversarial, because Realtors are trying to sell homes, get buyers into homes and get to the closing table to earn a living.
Appraisers are seen as one of the obstacles to making this happen! Remember our sole purpose is to protect the Lender from lending risks and in turn, protect the Buyer from overpaying on a home. We have no reason to "Kill Deals" nor do we want to. Sure there are plenty of stories about BAD Appraisers and Appraisal Reports, but lets be honest as that can also be said about Realtors...Moving on to the point here. We BOTH face an uncertain professional future.
If you Google "are Realtors or are Appraisers needed" you will be bombarded with search results that basically say we both will lose our profession due in large part to technology and a more streamlined buying process. I have been an Appraiser for 25 years and ever since I got into the business, we heard our jobs will be taken away by Zillow or AVM's (Automated Valuation Models), etc. Realtor's are faced with Zillow, Open Door, Knock.com, etc. THE BOTTOM LINE: BOTH PROFESSIONS CAN CITE CHAPTER AND VERSE WHY MANY PEOPLE ARE IN THE DARK ABOUT OUR PROFESSIONS AND WHY THEY ARE NEEDED IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CONSUMER!
Here is one article that spells out the very need for Appraisers (the best I have ever seen ) Long but excellent READ which presents things most people, including Realtors never thought of. This article suggests the Lender involved wants no Appraisers or Realtors, working with For Sale by Owner sites to get more prospects. Here is a great article as to why Realtors are needed!
Believe it or not, many Appraisers including yours truly DO understand the need for Realtors especially from Contract to Closing. A BUYERS AGENT has to get their buyer through many large landmines; Loan approval, Inspection, Appraisal, etc. Listing Agents of course have to market heavily to get their listing against stiff competition, so they have to be DIFFERENT. Hold up something of value to the Seller that other Agents do not offer.
So my point here is this: Appraiser's and Realtors SHOULD work together rather than against each other and they will BOTH benefit and guess what? When we conduct Pre-Listing or Pre-Sale Appraisals, we get to know that Realtor and when a homeowner is looking for referrals for Realtors (when they call us first for an appraisal) the more we know of an Agent and like what we seee, the more likely we are to REFER that Agent to the Homeowner. I have many opportunities to REFER sellers to Agents/Realtors and I do!
Realtors for the most part HATE trying to come up with a listing price for the Seller. They also have no idea on the accurate square footage of the home other than what the courthouse records say, which many times are way off the mark. So in order to place yourself AHEAD of your competition consider these options:
1. As part of your marketing plan recommend a pre-listing appraisal (especially for complex properties). There are so many good reasons for getting this appraisal) See my prior post about that.
** If you are a Buyers Agent: Recommend an appraisal for CASH buyers and for all who get a Waiver from the Lender of an Appraisal. (Which does not mean the lender thinks the home is worth it). This way you are covered should the buyer come back and say how come you let me OVERPAY for my home? At least you made the recommendation and documented your files accordingly.
2. Suggest that the owner get a sketch/floor plan of their home by an Appraiser. If you get a pre-listing appraisal that comes with the report. If you decide not to get a Pre-listing appraisal at the very least get a sketch that you can legally use and quote in your marketing material and which can be uploaded in your MLS/FMLS documents section AND be given to the Bank Appraiser when they come calling. They will love to get this sketch as it saves them time! Many buyers want to know what the true square footage is and Square footage is one of the largest driving forces of value, so you do not want to UNDER or OVER quote the square footage. This eliminates surprises down the road.
Sketching fees are very reasonable for what you get. Typically starting around $100.00.
3. Work with Appraiser's every chance you get. Provide details of the home to the Appraiser via a "Brag Sheet". Get homeowner to list all large improvements or additions to the home and approximate costs in past 15 years. Provide Comps to support your listing price (but do know that they may not always be considered comparable by the Appraiser). Doing all of this will likely produce the best possible value for the home.
**IF WE BOTH SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT THE OTHERS PROFESSION IS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, WE NEED NOT HAVE ANY WORRIES ABOUT OUR FUTURE. We just need to follow that up with excellent service to our Clients!
If we RESPECT what each has to do to protect and build consumer trust it will go a long way to future benefits reaped by both professions.
Thanks for reading and SHARING if you so desire. Thank you to all of our Realtor Clients. Because of you 70% of our business in 2018 was Realtor referral or personal business!
Mary Thompson-Certified Appraiser