New real estate agent appraisal resource guide

New real estate agent appraisal resource guide

As an appraiser I often get asked questions by real estate agents that are curious about why and how appraisers do their job. I enjoy speaking at agent’s offices to help them understand the process so that they are able to perform their jobs better.New agent appraisal resource guide

It is my philosophy that by helping them understand more about appraising they can price their listings more accurately and there is less chance of deals falling through or deals being held up with underwriting issues. I especially enjoy helping new agents begin their careers on the right foot by teaching them what they need to know about appraisals, so it is in this spirit that I put together this post. I have compiled a new real estate agent appraisal resource guide consisting of links to 10 blog posts that I believe will help them to clearly understand various areas of the appraisal process.

Clearing the air- A look at exactly what real estate agents and appraisers can talk about

Since the introduction of the HVCC several years ago there has been a lot of confusion about what appraisers and agents can talk about. We can discuss a lot more than you might think, so take a look at some of the top concerns between agents and appraisers.

Top 5 things an agent can do to get a listing ready for the appraisal inspection

Getting a listing ready for the appraisal inspection can help a sales transaction proceed smoothly and help reduce call backs by the loan underwriter. By following these guidelines you can be proactive in the appraisal process.

5 questions a Realtor should ask the appraiser before setting up the appraisal inspection

Most of the time there are valid reasons for an appraisal coming in short of the contract but an out of area appraiser or one lacking in knowledge of the local market should not be one of them. Find out what you can do to head off problems before they begin.

An FHA appraisal resource guide and checklist for real estate agents

FHA loans continue to be a significant option for buyers in today’s market. Find out all you need to know regarding FHA appraisals and get a free checklist to help you out.

Can the seller be present during the appraisal inspection?

Many times agents go out of their way to make sure the seller is not present during the appraisal inspection, however it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many good reasons for the seller to be present.

What is bracketing and why should Realtors do it?

Bracketing is a term that most agents are not familiar with. It can assist you in developing a better asking price for your clients, so check out this often overlooked tool to use in your next CMA.

Can a Realtor give comps to an appraiser?

Some appraisers do not prefer to receive comps from the agent, however others don’t mind. Find out the best way to present this information to them so that it is received in the best way.

A square footage resource guide for real estate agents

It’s important for real estate agents to use accurate square footage information in their listings. This resource guide will guide you in the right direction so that your listings will reflect the most accurate square footage information.

When is price per square foot NOT a good indicator of market value?

I’m always asked what homes are selling for per square foot and this can be a helpful metric if looked at correctly. Find out when is the best time to use this indication of value and when you shouldn’t.

How an agent can use a pre-listing appraisal to save themselves time and money

Pre-listing appraisals are not just for FSBO sellers. Agents can learn how to use them to their advantage.


If you’re a new agent what is your #1 question regarding appraisals? If it wasn’t answered here please leave me a comment below and I’ll get back with you. I speak at real estate agents offices all the time to help inform and educate them about what we as appraisers do, so if you would like me to speak at your office lets connect.

If you liked this post subscribe by email (or RSS feed). Thanks for visiting.


  1. Tom,

    Great resource. Appraisals can be a tricky thing for agents to predict…especially newer agents. Will be sharing on all of my networks.

  2. Thanks Tom: I always enjoy your blogs. No matter how busy I get, I must read them when they appear. I have had this questions about Comps for a while and no reasonable answer.
    When I do comps for, I look for actives, pending and sold. How much square feet tolerances show I use and max radius. For example: on a 2100 sq ft subject, I tend to look for +/- 150 square feet and up to 2 miles radius. What is your recommendation?

    • Thanks Chris for the kind words and I appreciate you reading my blog. It sounds like you are on the right track by bracketing the square footage but I think I would broaden the square foot range to make sure that you include enough sales. On a home that size I think I might look at all sales that are within +/- 500 square feet and within 90 days (for sales) if possible. If you start your search too narrow you might exclude some good sales and you can always narrow the search down if there are plenty of sales. As far as distance goes, I really don’t pay that much attention to it as long as the areas I look in are truly comparable and a buyer for the subject neighborhood would also look in this other place. Appraisers like to describe it as a “competitive market area”, which has the same or similar schools, similar age, style, and quality of home and similar proximity to neighborhood support services. If no recent sales exist in the subject neighborhood then you can begin expanding your search criteria until you find the most similar and recent sales and listings. Hope this helps.

  3. This is a great blog post that unlocks the resources of many past posts, making it a valuable (no pun intended) resource for real estate agents. I’m an appraiser who follows your blog and I found my self clicking on the links to check out the older posts.

    • Thanks Gary. Its easy for old content to get buried within the blog. My hope is that by grouping all of the posts together that are helpful to agents that they will be able to utilize the info.

  4. You’re a great resource to agents. The truth is there can be a huge difference between selling something and knowing how to value it. I hope local agents in Birmingham will not only read your blog, but hire you and take you out to lunch. Knowing how to think like an appraiser is an enormous asset when it comes to effectively valuing properties, and it’s crucial for anyone starting their career in real estate too. Nice job, Tom.


  1. […] articles to see about "Finding the right home" – The Real Estate Agent Appraisal Guide by Tom Horn | 5 Common Mistakes when the Appraisal comes in too Low by Tom Horn | […]

  2. […] articles to see about "Finding the right home" – The Real Estate Agent Appraisal Guide by Tom Horn | 5 Common Mistakes when the Appraisal comes in too Low by Tom Horn | […]

Speak Your Mind


Sign up and get valuable content!

  • Get local real estate market data
  • Learn valuable information from a seasoned appraiser
  • Find out what adds value to your home

I respect your privacy. Your information stays with me.

Call Now Button