What Not to Say When Getting a Home Appraisal

When it comes to interacting with an appraiser, it’s important to choose your words carefully. Here are a few things you should avoid saying to an appraiser to ensure a smooth appraisal process:
  • Don’t try to dictate the value: Trying to influence the appraiser to assign a higher value than what the property is actually worth is a risky business tactic. It’s essential to remember that appraisers rely on facts, data and professional judgments to determine the value of a property.
  • Don’t withhold information: It’s crucial to provide the appraiser with all relevant details about the property, including necessary repairs or upgrades. Withholding any information can lead to an inaccurate appraisal, which can significantly impact the outcome of a sale.
  • Don’t argue with the appraiser: If the appraisal value doesn’t meet your expectations, it’s not advisable to argue with the appraiser. Instead, you can choose to present your case with factual data to persuade them, but you should do so respectfully and professionally.
  • Don’t pressure the appraiser: Pressuring the appraiser to assign a higher value can lead to a biased appraisal, which can hurt you and the entire property market in the long run.
  • Ultimately, the best way to approach interacting with an appraiser is to be respectful, provide accurate information, and avoid trying to sway their professional judgment. By doing so, you increase your chances of receiving a fair and accurate appraisal that reflects the current market value of the property.
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    What Not to Say to an Appraiser

    Unrealistic Expectations

    One of the worst things that you can say to an appraiser is that you’ll be content as long as it is appraised for at least the price of sale. This statement reveals unrealistic expectations, which may lead to conflict with the appraiser. You should understand that an appraiser’s job is to provide an unbiased opinion of the value of your home. They consider several factors, including location, market conditions, home condition, and size. Therefore, the appraiser’s job is not to make you happy by providing the value you need but to provide an accurate valuation of your home.

    Pressure to Inflate Value

    Putting pressure on the appraiser to inflate the value of your property is unethical, unprofessional, and illegal. As a homeowner, your goal may be to sell your home for a higher price, but trying to influence the appraiser’s opinion is not the right way to achieve this goal. Instead, focus on making repairs and renovations that will increase your home’s value. The appraiser will take these improvements into consideration when they value your home. Also, keep in mind that dishonesty could have severe consequences, including legal and financial liabilities.
    • Putting pressure on the appraiser to inflate the value of your property is unethical, unprofessional, and illegal.
    • Trying to influence the appraiser’s opinion is not the right way to achieve your goal.
    • Dishonesty could have severe consequences, including legal and financial liabilities.

    Misleading Market Conditions

    The market is on fire. This statement is a typical one that a homeowner makes to an appraiser, thinking that it will lead to the appraiser providing a higher value. However, it is crucial to understand that market conditions do not always translate to high home values. The appraiser will take market conditions into consideration as one of the factors, but they will also consider other factors, like your home’s location, condition, and size. Therefore, it is essential to provide complete information to the appraiser and let them do their job without interference.
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    Lack of Knowledge on Appraisal Process

    Homeowners must understand the appraisal process to avoid conflicts with the appraiser. Appraisers use an established set of criteria to evaluate a home’s value, including but not limited to the repair and condition of the home, square footage, age of the home, location, neighborhood, and market trends. As a homeowner, you should do your research and have realistic expectations of why your home was valued the way it was. The takeaway: Do not assume that you know more about appraisals than the appraiser; it will only create a tense situation that may lead to conflicts.

    Neglecting Home Inspection Results

    Appraisers work with home inspectors to determine the value of a property. An inspection report provides essential information on a home’s condition and repair needs that could lower its value. When you neglect the results of your home inspection, you may not only miss out on opportunities to increase your home’s value, but also may put the appraiser in an awkward position when they identify the same issues and need to report them.

    Using Non-Relevant Comparables

    Comparables or comps are other homes that have sold, or are currently on the market, that are similar to your home. As a homeowner, you may have a limited understanding of what qualifies as a comp, but, choosing the wrong comparables can negatively impact the appraiser’s opinion of your home. The appraiser will consider whether the homes chosen are similar in location, size, condition, and amenities to your home. Therefore, relying on comparables that do not fit these criteria may lead to an inaccurate valuation.
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    Making Value Projections without Basis

    Homeowners do not have the experience and tools of appraisers to provide an accurate projection of their home’s value. Statements like I know this home is worth X amount, without the knowledge on how to arrive at that number, are meaningless to the appraiser. The appraiser will use data and analysis from multiple sources, including county records, MLS listings, and their professional experience, to determine the property’s value. Therefore, offering your value projection without basis or data will not help you get a higher appraisal value. The bottom line: As a homeowner, you must work with the appraiser and provide accurate information to get an unbiased appraisal value. Instead of trying to influence the appraiser’s opinion, take the necessary steps to maximize your home’s value through improvements and repairs.

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