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Understanding the Home Appraisal Process — Seller and Broker Beware!

January 12, 2013  |  by John Heithaus

Jim Rendon from the NY Times has written an excellent piece on the fundamentals of the home appraisal business. There’s some great tips and insider’s knowledge shared here that applies to the MRIS market as well. Get the full article here. Subscription not required for this article.

Our good friend and real estate Guru Jonathan Miller from NYC (a former DC/Maryland native and adviser to MRIS and RBI) has some good comments in here too … one of the best ones is to make sure the seller prepares a one-page “brag sheet” that lists all of the home’s amenities and differentiators to make sure the appraiser is well aware of value enhancing features like location, extras and upgrades and special features. Keep in mind though, that the Italian marble bathroom may be great but, also, know that “cost does not equal value” meaning a buyer may not value the amenity equal to it’s cost. That’s a trap many homeowners fail to recognize until it’s too late!

Good news is MRIS-land mostly has good markets. Bad news is the appraisal process remains a challenge for even buyers with great credit due to new and emerging regulations and standards. For instance, as the article indicates, a loan officer can not talk directly with an appraiser. So the real estate professional and seller become more important as information providers today. Be aware!

Illustration by Phil Marden for The New York Times

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