Do you have an appraiser you can count on? I have several and am helpful to all of them when they call to ask why I got one price for a house and not another.
When they are called to do an appraisal they most likely have not seen the interiors of the comparable sales they are using. Seeing them is different than looking at photos from the MLS. Many call for an explanation of the nuances (it could be the view is outstanding, or the cul-de-sac has incredible homes and a sought after street etc.). Picking my brain helps make their adjustments easier and helps them understand the current market trend.
It’s a give and take; it also helps me because I feel free to call and ask questions and get their opinions. I’ve learned over the years not all appraisers are open and share information. Not all are up to the current market nor do they want to be. Many have their foot on the way out the door after all the changes the government made in how they are used and their fee structure.
Several years ago my sellers went under contract with a darling couple who were both veterans and using their VA. My sellers were thrilled they got the house! The appraiser appointed worked downtown, not working full time anymore and really didn’t do appraisals in the suburbs (he even got lost getting to the house because he doesn’t use GPS)!
The first inkling there was trouble was from the agent who called me shrieking: "this idiot is coming in $50,000 under value." We were priced right with excellent comparable sales and had 3 offers on the house. We could have gone with a conventional loan offer (all offers were very similar) but they wanted the two vets who just finished their overseas tour to be the winner.
I called the appraiser and tried to establish a dialogue and he immediately started saying I just listed the house high and it wasn’t worth it! All Realtors are the same! I gave him comparable sales even on the same street and he wasn’t budging. I diverted his attention for a while asking about his business and what he was seeing in the market. I kept digging trying to find his real objection in the value of the house.
Then he made the comment he didn’t want the veterans to move in and be faced with major cash outlays for mechanicals, appliances painting etc., on a home this expensive. The light bulb moment!! I said OH! You need to know the facts on what has been done to the house! I promptly emailed my brochure to him and said they won’t have to worry about mechanicals, painting, flooring or appliances!
He was taken back. The HVAC (up and downstairs) were replaced just before we went on the market. The two water heaters were replaced the year before. The interior of the house was painted, updated light fixtures and new flooring installed before we put the house on the market. The kitchen appliances were all replaced and granite installed on the counters two years previously. I told him this lovely young couple can move in without fear of major expenditures AND they have a home warranty! PLUS the seller is leaving the refrigerator and washer and dryer.
He agreed, his fear was now put aside. He called me three more times to talk and finally turned in his report 2 weeks after his visit to the house. The house made value! Sometimes patience is needed and you have to keep digging until you discover the root of the problem.
“Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it.” Travis Kalanick
This is my second entry into the "March to a Solution Challenge," hosted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP and Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist.
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