When it comes to buying/selling a home most of you are told to get an appraisal done. Many of you will bite your lip and think, "I don't really want to spend the money, but I'll just get it done anyway." So, you get online and search for a Local Home Appraiser. Now, how do you determine whether the person has the skill to give you a correct quote on your heirloom? Qualify the appraiser before there is a problem, not after!
Here are 10 questions anyone hiring a home appraiser should ask:
1. How long have you been appraising?
We recommend a minimum of 5 years of experience for simple properties and 10 years for complex and unusual homes, waterfront, large acreage or view properties.
2. Are you a Certified or Licensed appraiser?
This question can be intimidating to an appraiser who is beginning to realize you are serious about the appraiser's qualifications.
There are 2 categories of residential appraisal licenses (Certified and Licensed).
- A licensed appraiser is the lowest level of authorization by a state. Typically these individuals are not allowed to appraise expensive or complex properties for lending purposes.
- A certified appraiser is the highest level of authorization by a state. Certified appraisers are allowed to appraise any residential property, in any price range, of any size and complexity.
-Appraisers that are only licensed, typically are not credentialed to do "complex appraisal assignments" for loan purposes.
- FHA does not accept appraisals from "licensed" individuals, only “certified” appraisers.
3. Are you a full time appraiser?
Appraising is complex and requires focus. Part time “form-fillers” are of no benefit to you, the borrower, real estate agent or lender because they don't know your market.
If the person is part-time, ask the lender to send someone else.
4. Do you buy or sell objects such as mine? If so, it could be a red flag for conflict of interest.
5. Have you ever been disciplined before?
If the appraiser has been disciplined you likely have an indicator that the appraiser cuts corners, or worse.
6. How much will your appraisal cost me?
If the appraiser won't provide a written estimate, shop elsewhere.
7. How is your fee structured?
It should be per report never a percentage of the appraisal.
8. What will I receive for my money?
Ask for a detailed description of the appraisal report. Better yet, get copies of some recent appraisals.
9. How long will the appraisal take?
Usually inspections take 45 min to 1 hour under 3,000 square feet . Report writing usually takes 1-2 days.
10. Have you ever appraised properties of this type in this area?
An experienced appraiser would answer yes. If the answer is no, start asking a lot more questions.
Article by Jay MacDonald/Richard Hagar SRA and P. E Turner Jr. SRA/SRPA
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