The Appraiser-Agent Relationship: A Win-Win Approach

How Can Appraisers and Agents Work Together?

In the often chaotic world of real estate, the appraiser-agent relationship can contribute to a smoother process. While each professional has a distinct role, their collaboration can greatly influence the outcome of transactions.

How Appraisers and Agents Can Work Together

When real estate agents and appraisers work together seamlessly, clients benefit from well-informed decisions, transactions become smoother, and professional relationships are strengthened. Today I thought I would discuss the important aspects of the appraiser-agent partnership and highlight how this teamwork creates a true win-win approach in the real estate industry.

Please keep in mind that I am not talking about the appraiser and agent discussing and collaborating on the value of a property but rather the steps involved in the home-buying process. There are many areas that appraisers and agents can inform and educate one another so that each of their jobs is done more successfully.

1. Understanding the Roles: Agents and Appraisers:
Real estate agents bring their expertise in marketing and negotiations, while appraisers provide impartial and accurate property valuations. Understanding each other’s roles forms the foundation of a successful partnership.

2. Why the Partnership Matters: Helping each Client Make Informed Decisions:
Both agents and appraisers share the common goal of serving their clients’ best interests. A mutually respectful partnership ensures that each of their clients receives informed advice, leading to confident decisions. The agent’s client (buyer or seller) can make an informed buying or selling decision and the appraiser’s client (bank) can make an informed lending decision.

3. Creating Accurate Initial Expectations:
Agents and appraisers collaborating early in the process help set accurate expectations for buyers and sellers. Transparent communication about property values can prevent unrealistic expectations. This can come in the form of a pre-listing appraisal to help establish a market-supported asking price for the seller. The appraisal can also give potential buyers peace of mind that the home is accurately priced and will most likely not have any value issues when the mortgage appraisal is performed.

4. Accurate Valuations for Effective Pricing Strategies:
Appraisers can provide agents with accurate valuations through pre-listing appraisals that enable effective pricing strategies. This knowledge positions agents to market properties competitively and attract the right buyers.

5. Navigating Complex Properties:
In cases of unique or complex properties, agents and appraisers collaborate to ensure accurate valuations. Their combined insights aid clients in understanding the true value of these properties.

6. Facilitating Smooth Appraisal Process:
Agents can help streamline the appraisal process by providing access to the property, relevant documents, and accurate property information, allowing appraisers to perform their valuations efficiently.

7. Unveiling Market Trends and Insights:
Agents can offer appraisers valuable insights into local market trends from the buyer/seller perspective as well as insight into recent sales that may be comparable to the subject property. Because agents are the ones speaking with buyers and sellers they can offer a “boots on the ground” perspective regarding what buyers and sellers may or may not like about a property. The agent can provide more detailed information about recent sales that the appraiser may be using such as its condition and features. This information helps the appraisers’ understanding of the market.

8. Addressing Challenges and Discrepancies:
When discrepancies arise between a seller’s perspective on the value of their property a pre-listing appraisal can bridge the gap between fantasy and reality and this can help open up dialogue and collaborative problem-solving between the agent and the seller to arrive at a market-supported list price.

9. Elevating Professional Relationships:
A deep understanding of each other’s duties and responsibilities enhances the overall professionalism of both agents and appraisers. This mutual respect and collaboration contribute to a positive industry image.

10. Communication: The Key to Collaboration:
Open lines of communication between agents and appraisers foster mutual understanding and prevent misunderstandings that can lead to complications. Appraisers and agents can communicate as long as the property’s value is not part of the discussion.

11. The Power of Pre-Appraisal Preparation:
Agents preparing properties for appraisals can have a significant impact on the outcome. A well-maintained property can contribute to a more favorable valuation and prevent the need for a final inspection, which can cost the buyer more money and possibly delay the closing.

12. Empowering Informed Clients:
Collaboration empowers clients with accurate information to make informed decisions. Clients appreciate transparency and value the expertise of both agents and appraisers.

13. Maximizing Post-Appraisal Opportunities:
When a pre-listing appraisal falls short of seller expectations, agents and appraisers can work together to identify areas for improvement, such as renovations or updates.

14. Navigating Negotiations with Confidence:
Accurate appraisals empower agents to negotiate confidently, armed with objective valuations that are essential for reaching successful agreements. If there are discrepancies between the mortgage appraisal and the contract price the appraisal can be used as a tool for negotiating a market-supported contract price.

Conclusion:

When appraisers and agents work together, understanding each other’s jobs and respecting their roles, it can really help the real estate world. In a mortgage appraisal, the appraiser’s client is the lender, however, by working well with the agent, the reliability of the information is enhanced, and the accuracy of the appraisal is increased, which makes it a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

If you have any additional comments about how appraisers and agents can work better together please leave a comment below and as always thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. Hello Tom, Good stuff. I enjoy teaching at local real estate offices and the local board about appraising. I do hear horror stories from the agents about the appraiser at the time of the site visit and their conduct at the site. Now let’s just say it is a disgruntled agent, deal was shot down or something else, but even if 10% of the stories are true, that is scary. It feels like some appraises are still living the year of HVCC and haven’t realized that it sunseted about 11 years ago. Recognizing that most residential appraisers are one person shops, there is some need at our end for training on communications on how to meet the agent, seller or borrower. Now that said, there are some agents, that scare me as an appraiser as well. As you said, it is key that we establish that relationship between our two worlds, RE sales and Appraising. This is really important now with this absolutely bizarre real estate market we are currently living within, no matter what part of the country you happen to hang your Stetson. You were spot on with how important a good active conversation and the building of the relationship is between the two sides. Thanks for the topic, both timely and pertinent. Thanks Tom.

  2. Thanks Tom. I’m a huge fan of excellent communication between agents and appraisers. At times, it’s easy for some on both sides to buy into a toxic mindset of just pointing the finger at the other group or even slinging mud online. I think that’s amateurish, and at times people end up acting in a way that really highlights a lack of professionalism or even ethics. With that said, we are responsible for how we interact, and it’s my goal to be a professional. I know that is your goal too. There is no such thing as a perfect appraisal, and there is no such thing as a perfect CMA either. Ha.

    • Very well said, Ryan. I think that if the appraiser and agent understand each others responsibilities then we can all work together to make the home buying process smoother. We can each be a valuable asset to one another.

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