5 questions you MUST ask your Birmingham, AL real estate appraiser

questions to ask an appraiserIt’s important to know a little about your appraiser before he/she actually appraises your home. If they don’t possess the best qualifications, and you wait until after the appraisal has been completed to find this out, you may have to spend unnecessary time getting a “reconsideration of value”. Why not just ask these five questions before the appraisal to make sure they know their stuff:

  1.  How Many Years of Experience Do You Have?– While years of experience by itself is not the only thing you should consider, it is a factor that should be looked at. The time a person has spent in a profession is typically directly proportional to the amount of knowledge they have about their job.
  2. Do You Belong To A Professional Organization?- Most professional organizations require its members to meet more stringent educational requirements than what the states do. By taking more continuing education classes an appraiser may be more aware of what is currently happening in the profession as well as learn about new techniques and trends that are occurring. I am an SRA member of the Appraisal Institute, but it is not the only professional organization out there. There are several others that also have good educational programs.
  3. How  Much Appraisal Work Do You Do In This Market Area?- Geographic competence is a big topic in the appraisal profession these days. It refers to an appraisers knowledge of a market and his/her ability to produce an accurate and reliable report. You can learn more about it from this previous blog post: “Know Thy Market- The Importance of Geographic Competence in Appraising Real Estate”.
  4. Do You Use The A.G.D.A. Database?- The A.G.D.A. database concept is unique to Birmingham, AL as far as I can tell, but it is key when doing appraisal work in this area. You can read my article “What Is A.G.D.A. And Why Is It Important” to learn more. It is a database that appraisers contribute to that gives physical data about the house. If you don’t use this information all you have to go on is county records, which are not all that reliable. Being a member of this database in itself signifies that the appraiser is serious about providing accurate and reliable appraisals.
  5. What level of licensing do you have?- States issue appraisal licenses to individuals from trainees to certified general appraisers. While everyone has to start somewhere, it is important that you have someone that has experience. Most appraisers that are trainees must be accompanied by their mentors who are at least certified residential appraisers. If they are not you need to ask why.  A trainee in the state of Alabama must be accompanied by a mentor on the first 50 assignments.

The goal is to get a geographically competent appraiser who has experience and knowledge about an area so that any problems can be addressed before the appraisal is completed rather than after. Have you had any experiences with appraisers and the above related topics? Leave me a message I would like to hear from you.

If you have any real estate appraisal related questions you can call me at 205.243.9304, email me, or connect with me on Facebook., Twitter, or Youtube.


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