Finding a good comparable
Agents will often call our office because they are concerned, they cannot find any comparables
to determine the price of their listing. In most cases after a short conversation and some research
we can find comparables, it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for.
Where to look for comparables
The best place to find comparables is in the immediate neighborhood of the subject property.
Due to many similarities the properties will have because of the location this is always the best
option. Having said that if the other properties in the neighborhood are not similar in size,
bedroom count, etc. you would not want to use it as a comparable just because it is close because
there are very few other similarities.
Per Fannie Mae requirements the comparable sales used to determine the value of a home should
have sold within the last 12 months. However, using the most recent similar sales will give you
the best indicator of value.
One of the results of the recession in 2007 is that appraisers are required to include extra documentation of the properties they appraise. One of the ways documentation has increased is the number of photographs required. Appraisers used to only take a front, rear and street photo of the property but, they are now required to a lot more.
What is the Appraiser taking pictures of?
Anything that can increase or decrease the value of the property may be included in the appraisal. This can include items in the house, outside or next to the house. These photos are now required because it gives the underwriters a better idea of the condition of the property. Let me break this down for you.
I regularly receive questions regarding FHA appraisals and recently more clients have had questions regarding the rules for the heating and cooling system for an FHA, so I am going to take this opportunity to explain.
FHA Heating and Cooling requirements
When your home is inspected by the appraiser, they will inspect the heating and cooling system in your home. A cooling system is not required to meet FHA guidelines, the only guideline is that if there is one it must work. If it does not work the appraiser is required to note what condition it is in, what is wrong and how it may affect the marketability and value of the home. A heating system however is required per FHA guidelines and provide healthful and comfortable condition as well as meet the safety, soundness, and security rules for the property.
Agents and Appraisers have been rumored to not get along that well, but I would like to crush this rumor by saying this is not always true. Appraisers and realtors can benefit greatly from communicating with each other and I found this to be very true in practice.
The more information the agent can share with the appraiser the better the appraiser can understand the property and determine the best market value. Having said that discussing the value is not allowed so be sure to not share this information to keep it a unbiased appraisal.
I would like to provide a few ways that agents and appraisers can benefit from a good relationship and open communication.
Once more the appraisal industry is being put under question as to why they are important for the home buying and selling process. Currently, the FDIC, Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department issued a joint proposal that would eliminate the need for an appraisal on mortgages for less than $400,000.
This proposal is being sold to consumers as a way to save money and time. This sounds appealing, however, the price of an appraisal is minimal compared to the what the loan officers and banks are making and as for the appraisal process there are various factors that could be changed that could shorten the time involved significantly, such as use of the Appraisal Management companies (AMC’s) being eliminated.
Are you a first-time home buyer? Does the appraisal process confuse you? Appraisals can be confusing which is why I would like to take a minute of your time to explain the appraisal process.
Buying a fixer upper home has become increasingly popular in recent years, in large part to the numerous TV shows that demonstrate all the possibilities you can do to a home. This has been an attractive idea to many home buyers making it more affordable to buy a home due to the increasing home prices.
Granny Flat Appraisals
A granny flat also referred to as a mother-in-law suite, or guest house. A granny flat will most often include bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom and a separate entrance. A granny flat can be attached or detached however without permits it will not be given any value in an appraisal or sale of the home.
Is it possible to get a good, fast and cheap appraisal?
With the surge of home sales appraisers have been busier than ever working diligently to complete appraisals in an effective and efficient manner. Don’t get me wrong this is a good thing for appraisers, the problem is that lenders and AMC’s are expecting the impossible, a good, fast and cheap product. An appraiser’s job is to provide a necessary and valuable service that takes time and effort, and this cannot be accomplished good, fast and inexpensively.
Have you received an appraisal and found yourself confused by all the language used? My goal with this blog is to make your life a bit easier by explaining some of the language in appraisals that can often make it hard to understand.