How to Help Boost Your Appraisal – Real Estate for Sale in Santa Monica

Posted by admin Posted in Uncategorized

According to the National Association of Realtors, a whopping 33% of all contracts were cancelled in January, 2012.  This is up from just 9% in January 2011. NAR says one of the primary reasons for these elevated levels of cancellations is due to low appraisals.

Looking to sell your home or do a refi? Then you may need to boost your appraisal.

Here’s how:

Check Comps

While it’s technically the appraiser’s job is to derive a base for your home’s value based on the recent sales prices of homes that are comparable to yours — comparable in terms of location, size, condition, and age (in this order) — you need to do your due diligence as well. Get about 6 comps ahead of time. Start your research on Zillow.

Talk to those “in the know”

You also want to talk to neighbors (They may know of pending sales or properties that sold without the help of a Realtor; that can mean it wasn’t posted on the MLS, real estate agents (they may have more refined comps readily available), your local assessors, and others to better self-educate.  Why? “You can’t rely on them wholeheartedly,” says real estate expert, Jim Lumley, of Amherst, Mass. “While some are trained, highly skilled/competent and know the market, others are not.”  That leaves plenty of room for error. They may even be looking at comps in the wrong ZIP code, he says.  “A three-bedroom ranch that is similar to yours but in the next town over could have an entirely different pricing structure.”

Highlight value-added features

One of the first things the appraiser — picked at random and ordered through a third-party appraisal management company — is going to do is come over to your house to inspect its condition.  While keeping it well-maintained (clean and clutter-free, from the outside in) is always a smart thing to do, think about what distinguishes it from homes that are similar to yours, and therefore makes it more valuable, says Sara Stephens, president of the Appraisal Institute.  Do you have an extra half bathroom, a finished basement or other features that are not necessarily detailed in the assessing records? Do you have the biggest yard on the block? Is your home located in a more scenic area than the comps in your neighborhood? “Respectfully tell them what you know,” treating the appraiser as a member of your team, says Stephens. “It will increase the odds of your getting a fair and accurate assessment.”

…and improvements/upgrades

Did you install energy efficient windows? New insulation in the attic? Central air? New roofing? Flooring? Heating system? Plumbing? “Make a list of all the home improvements you’ve made over the years – as well as the costs — and don’t be shy about providing the appraiser with this list,” says Paradise-California based appraiser, Doreen Zimmerman, author of Challenge Your Home Appraisal. “We welcome the input.” Just don’t mention projects/various maintenance work you intend to undertake.  You don’t get credit for unfinished business!

Appeal

If you’re unhappy with your home’s valuation by the appraiser (the process takes about two weeks; you can get a copy of the appraisal from your lender), you can always challenge it. Most lenders have an appeals process, but keep in mind that a successful rebuttal is going to depend on your ability to support your case, says Zimmerman. “You can’t just go in there and insist that your home is worth more than its appraised value.” Keep your emotions out of it, and present the facts only.  “When you make your case to the lender, you have to prove that there was an error, a series of errors, or omissions — such as comps that should have been taken into consideration but were not. If you are dissatisfied/getting a run around, or otherwise not yielding the kind of results you feel you deserve, you can always take your case to a higher level — your state’s appraisal board.

Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist based in New York City and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with her at http://veragibbons.com/.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.


Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News

, , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

The information being provided by CARETS is for the visitor's personal, noncommercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties visitor may be interested in purchasing. The data contained herein is copyrighted by CARETS, CLAW, CRISNet MLS, i-Tech MLS and/or VCRDS and is protected by all applicable copyright laws. Any dissemination of this information is in violation of copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. Any property information referenced on this web site comes from the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program of CARETS. This web site may reference real estate listing(s) held by a brokerage firm other than the broker and/or agent who owns this web site. The accuracy of all information, regardless of source, is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be personally verified through personal inspection by and/or with the appropriate professionals.

Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of 12/20/14 12:10 PM PST. This information is for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties you may be interested in purchasing. Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent has not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.

This IDX solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2014.