Bad Advice


Bad Advice

Most people are very willing and eager to give advice, the problem with this is everyone believes their advice is correct but that is not always the case. I would like to take this time to review a few things people may tell you are correct about the appraisal process that you might want to think twice about.

  1. Using the tax assessor value to price your home.

The tax assessor value is often not accurate, this can be due to several reasons such missing or wrong information, wrong bedroom count, square footage, etc. In many cases the assessor’s value is lower than the market value, meaning if you use this value you will potentially be losing money. A way to avoid this would be to have a pre-listing appraisal done so you can accurately list your property.

  1. Don’t worry about how much money you spend on upgrades because you will get your money back when you sell your property.

It is a common misbelief that you will get your money back on upgrades. In most cases if you put $50,000 into your property you will not be able to increase the value by $50,000, in fact it most likely will be much less. This can vary depending on what upgrades you have made, but be aware that in most cases you will not get your money back so be cautious on how much you spend.

  1. You don’t need an appraisal

The market has been hot for a while now with a lot of buyers jumping at the opportunity to buy a home with low interest rates. Even though this makes it seem that you do not need an appraisal because homes are selling so quickly, this is false. Without an appraisal you may not list your home correctly which can result in a low sales price and leave money on the table, or alternatively it might be listed high which means your property will sit on the market too long. A pre-listing appraisal is a way to help you make your selling process as easy and quick as possible.

  1. Using Zestimate to price your home

Zestimate is a well-known tool on Zillow that will provide you with a value of your property. The problem with Zestimate is that it can be wrong by 20%, Zillow does not know if you have a view or remodeled and upgraded your home, etc. They only average all of the sales nearby and use a cost per square foot calculation. As mentioned, many times, the importance of listing your home correctly and knowing what your property is worth can save you time and money and a pre-listing appraisal can help you do this.

  1. Challenging an appraiser

I have had multiple clients ask why they are not allowed to challenge their appraisal and I respond with that is not true, the appraisers value can be challenged. It is important to be noted that just because the appraisal is challenged does not mean it will change the value. If you believe the value is incorrect it can be challenged but must be done in a professional way. Providing comparables that you believe should have been considered in the appraisal that were not or providing information that you believe changes the value are items that can be presented to the appraiser to make your case.

  1. Appraisers use tax records to price your home

False. The appraiser is required to measure your home during the inspection. The only time it is not measured is if it is an exterior appraisal and we always recommend a full appraisal for this reason. The appraiser will compare his measurements to tax records but that is to help determine if there are mistakes such as unpermitted square footage. Part of the appraisal process is to get accurate information such as square footage, bedroom count, bathroom count, etc. and if your appraiser does not do this, you may want to request a different appraiser.

There is a lot of information out there that can often be difficult to sort through. Please reach out to my office with any questions you may have.

Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule your appraisal appointment at 760-741-7699, or use our contact page on our website.

Brandlin Appraisals Inc. specialize in helping people who need appraisals for estate purposes, divorce, date of death, bankruptcy, FSBO’s and more throughout San Diego county. For more information please contact us at (760)741-7699, or visit our website at, or email us at

Mike Brandlin
San Diego, CA // Real Estate Appraiser
(760) 741-7699

San Diego Real Estate Appraisal Services For:
Divorce Appraisals / Marriage Dissolution
Bankruptcy Appraisals
Bail Bonds Appraisals
Estate / Date of Death / Retrospective Appraisals
Financial Planning & Trusts
PMI Removal Appraisals
Pre-Foreclosure & Short Sales
Tax Assessment Appeals
Pre-Listing, Pre-Purchase, FSBO’s
Probate Appraisals


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