Quick, the Appraiser Is at the Door!

An Article by Appraiser & Former Director Eric Trotz

 Member Recognition & Accolades, Membership, National Association of REALTORS®

Published Wednesday, July 14, 2021

African-American Woman with Braids Stands in Front of a Home and Evaluates the Property

Eric Trotz of Trotz Real Estate Services, one of MAAR's appraiser members and a former MAAR Director, has written an article for REALTOR® Magazine. The article was published online on July 13 and may be featured in the Fall print edition of REALTOR® Magazine.

In the article, Trotz stresses that it's appropriate to discuss your market knowledge with appraisers, but you cannot demand a particular value for your listing. He also gives readers insight into the appraisal process and advice on how REALTORS® can help clients prepare for the appraisal.

Read an excerpt from the article below:

Quick, the Appraiser Is at the Door!
July 13, 2021 | by Eric A. Trotz

Take the listing? Check! Sell the home? Check! Inspection completed? Check!

Appraisal okay? Things could have gone better! What happened?

Everyone benefits when appraisers and listing agents work together. Often a low appraisal value could have been avoided if all parties knew their roles at the beginning of the assignment instead of at the end.

It's okay for a listing agent to communicate with an appraiser, but it's inappropriate to demand a particular value. Per the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), appraisers must arrive at their own supported conclusion. Look at the appraiser as an important part of the team but one who must remain an independent, neutral, third-party provider of services. The appraiser is not, and cannot be, an advocate.

That said, don't wait until the appraiser is at the door to begin thinking about the appraisal.

Appraisers can do their best job when fully and properly informed. Brokerage professionals work with buyers and sellers every day and are experts when it comes to current market conditions. It's appropriate to discuss your market knowledge with appraisers. A good appraiser doesn't take any offense when it comes to reliable data and great information.

How else can you help an appraiser? Meet the appraiser during the appraisal inspection and provide the appraiser with a package, which at a minimum includes the following:

  1. MLS printout for the subject home
  2. Copy of the contract
  3. Spreadsheet of other offers received
  4. Property data sheet or brochure used during the marketing period
  5. List of improvements that includes year completed and cost
  6. Description of special features that make the subject property stand out from other homes in the area
  7. MLS printouts of sales you want the appraiser to consider
  8. MLS printouts of pending ales with actual contract prices
  9. MLS printouts of current listings
  10. Realtors Property Resource® (RPR) report using the Refine Value too to offer your own opinion of value
  11. Survey of the property, if available
  12. Floor plan and measurement of the home, if available
Be reasonable with the selection of comparable sales. Take the time to learn the guidelines that an appraiser is required to follow instead of providing randomly selected sales, which may not even be allowed for consideration. Generally speaking, the best comparable sales to provide have the best combination of being located in the same marketing area, closed within the past three to six months, are in the same or similar condition, have a similar gross living area (- +/-5% ), and have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHA, and VA appraisal requirements vary. Not all appraisals are based on the same beginning instructions. Find a copy of each agency's standards to be aware of the assignment conditions.

The full article is available online at magazine.realtor.