Five Quick Tips For Agents When Communicating With The Appraiser

Communicating With The Appraiser Is Important

 

Whatever business you are in communication is very important. This is especially true for real estate agents when they are communicating with the appraiser.

Ever since the recession in 2007-2008, there has been a lot of confusion about agent and appraiser communication. A lot of changes were made in how appraisals were ordered and the channels of communication that were allowed.

At first, agents did not believe that they were allowed to speak with the appraiser at all, but this is not true. I speak at various real estate office in the Birmingham, AL area and one of the most important things I tell the agent, especially new ones, is that it is okay for us to talk with one another.

In this post, I’m going to share with you some quick tips for agents when communicating with the appraiser. These tips include what information we can talk about as well as the best types of information the agent should share with the appraiser.

I think it is important to make the best use of the time you have when talking with the appraiser in discussing the things that are the most important. I hope this makes communication more effective for you as well as helping the sales transaction to go smoother and with fewer hiccups.

Best Practices For Communicating With The Appraiser

1) Do not discuss value- This is the number one rule when communicating with the appraiser. After all, the appraiser knows what value you want the appraisal to come it at, right? They know you want it to appraise for at least the contract price so why go any further and risk getting in trouble for trying to influence them?

There are other legitimate ways for you to provide data and information to the appraiser that supports your desired outcome. With that being said, the information you provide should be market driven and fact-based.

2) Provide them with all the information you used to list the home- If you put in the work and effort to develop a market based asking price why wouldn’t you want to share this with the appraiser? Agents have a unique perspective that they can use to their advantage.

property information packetI’ve written past articles about exactly what I think agents should provide to appraisers in an “information packet” so check it out. The value that agents have when providing this information is that you may be able to provide some insider information about the sales you used, such as the condition of the home, whether it was good or bad.

3) Always return phone calls- Appraisers are under tight deadlines when completing assignments so it is important that we get the information we need as quickly as possible. Providing an appraiser packet can answer a lot of questions, however other things do pop up that we need more clarification on.

Appraisers appreciate all of the information that agents can give us. One of the things appraiser have towhen communicating with appraisers always return phone calls do during the appraisal process is to verify comparable sale information. To do this we have to call a party to the transaction, which is usually the agent.

If an appraiser calls you about a home you sold because they are using it in an appraisal they are doing please return the call and provide as much information as you can. This will help them get the most accurate information to complete their assignment.

In addition, the property they are appraising may help you when pricing any other listings in the area whenever it sells. The appraiser/agent relationship can be mutually beneficial if we help each other as much as possible.

4) Provide “insider information” if available- What is insider information you may ask? You may have spoken with a lot of potential buyers and found out that the majority of them liked something about the property such as its location, style, or features.

This information is invaluable to appraisers and can help them when reconciling value at the end of the appraisal process.

One other situation where you may want to share additional information is when a home sells for less than what it should have. It is sometimes necessary to use a sale that is lower than normal because there are not better ones.

Being able to provide support for why this occurred helps when reconciling the appraisal and helps the appraiser provide supporting data to underwriters. You can read more about why it is helpful for the agent to include the bad comps as well as the good ones to the appraiser in the post mentioned above.

5) Get me to speak at your sales meetings- What better way to communicate with an appraiser and have your questions answered one on one than to have a Q & A at one of your sales meetings. Finding out about the appraisal process does not have to only occur during your sales transactions. After all, it might be a little nerve racking when you’re in the middle of a deal.

We can talk about how appraisers think, the comps selection process, or something of your own choosing depending on what issues you have had lately. Give me a call, I’d be happy to schedule a time to speak.

Question

Do you have any other questions about communicating with the appraiser that we haven’t covered here? Feel free to leave a question below and I’ll be glad to answer it. As always, thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. Great reminders Tom! I especially appreciate point number 4. It really helps to have information about a transaction shared that might not be obvious. The better we understand what’s going on the more supportable and comprehensive our reports can be. I enjoy your posts every week. Thanks for another great one!

    • Thanks, Jamie. I appreciate your input. I agree that the more information we have the better and sometimes this takes time. The movement towards faster appraisals can really hurt their accuracy I think.

  2. Nice job Tom. I know it can feel like a pain when appraisers call agents to verify details, but I always ask agents this, “When appraising your listing, do you want other agents to return phone calls for the properties I’m going to use as comps?” Umm, the answers is YES. So thank you agents for insight and details. We really appreciate it as appraisers.

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