Appraisers...What Are They Actually Looking At These Days?

katclaws_moMarch 5, 2010

Hello all,

I have a question about what appraisers are actually looking for/at these days. (post housing collapse)

Are they only looking at room count, size/sq. ftg,

& Lot size, area?

Are they looking at condition of the house? Age, Repairs, remodeling, upkeep, problems? Are they objective enough to look beyond clutter, out-dated decorating, or is that part of their report?

How do comps. factor in? Especially with all the short-sale/ forclosures etc. What if you have a unique-type property (in-law quarters)?

I kind of know what they USED to do, but it seems the rules have changed. Before they were Over-appraising homes & now they seem to lean to the overly cautious approach and are under-apprasing. Is that a correct assumption?

So what is an appraiser actually supposed to be looking at THESE DAYS? I need an Appraisal 101 Class. lol Is there anything that can/should be done prior to an appraisal? Any/all replys would be greatly appreciated.

TIA ~~ katclaws

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Here in the Bay Area, the appraisers are strictly following the rules. No more 'judgement' calls about a property being worth more than similar size/#rooms due to exceptional condition; e.g., turnkey. Comps must be within last three months. Our 2009 appraiser admitted our house would probably sell for more than his appraisal price but he had to come in about $100K less.

He pulled 6 comps, threw out the highest and lowest. That left 4 recent sales, 3 of which were run-down foreclosures that were in 'average' condition - that means severely in need of remodeling but still livable. We could not get credit for keeping our house in exceptional condition, completely remodeled inside and out, beautifully landscaped.

Thank goodness we actually don't need to sell our home; and as we have no mortgage we could afford to finance a buyer. Still, it was an interesting experience and quite a change from the high-flying 2003 appraisal in the past.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:30PM
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The appraisal rules are online for all to see.

Any condition worse than 'average' for age, location, and comps is noted.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 10:51AM
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