You probably thought we were beyond this. Going on five years after the crash most people presume that home appraisals have evened out and that they are no longer a threat to home sales. Uhhhh....not so fast my friends (thanks Coach Corso). Appraisals are still rearing their ugly heads and for this moment in time here's why. We're in a hot, somewhat seasonal market and appraisals are only a reflection of history. In other words the market wasn't as hot in January where comps are pulled by appraisers as it is now. In 60 days, more history will be on the books and things will get better but you had better hold on for April and May. We just had a $329,000 sale come in $2900 low....beyond stupid. Nothing should be that close. It either is or it isn't but under 1% is silly.
What can you do? Be ready with comps that you think may apply having them in the home for appraisers when they come to visit. You also need a strong advocate in a real estate professional lobbying on your behalf along the way. Someone who knows the market and has the savvy to approach an appraiser ahead of time in a way that helps the process and doesn't seem like a sledgehammer. The politics can be tricky. There's another route you can go to preempt an appraiser who doesn't know the area. Have your advocate ask them ahead of time how much experience they have in your area. Legally you can do that. Most people don't know but appraisers are chosen from an often statewide pool. Do you really want someone from Evansville doing your appraisal in Indianapolis who's not familiar with your area? By the way thanks to Governor Cuomo of New York for that silliness in foisting it upon Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac several years ago. HE'S the one who gave us that system. There's nothing wrong with asking an appraiser ahead of time how many homes they've valued in your area. Do it politely and respectfully but DO IT. Getting to the closing table may depend upon it.
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