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Real Property Appraisals/"Assisting" rushed appraisers


I asked a question about an upcoming appraisal and after reading through many of your answers formulated a follow up question.  What I seem to hear you saying is that appraisers are in a position where they are often pressured to perform quickly, and often can not or do not invest a great deal of time in individual appraisals.  To what extent can I and should I offer pre-researched properties for them to consider as comps?
No home within a mile of ours has sold within 10 years. (Ours was the last nearly 12 years ago.)  Homes within 5 miles have sold, but their configurations have been different, and the only two I know of offhand within the last 6 months have been substantially different.
So first, should I do my own research and provide it to the appraiser with the idea that the worst they can do is throw it away or is that likely to backfire?  
And secondly, what is most important in a comp?  We're well out of town, so are in-town properties of similar configuration and amenities fair game?  Are things outside of the opposite side of town fair game?  
And then finally, where do I research this information as a civilian with no realtor friends?

Thank You


Because of the property characteristics that you presented, I would strongly suggest that you do your own research ahead of the appraiser coming to your property. It is an embarrassment to my profession that I have to counsel people that the appraisal they get may be impacted by an appraiser who is not paid enough or given time enough to do a competent job.

Since you have no Agent friends, I would drive around and find the Agent who has the most listing signs in your area - perhaps you already know who this is. I would go to her/his office and offer to pay them for help in researching potential comps for your property. I'm sure that they, or other Agents in their office has had problems with appraisers already. Perhaps you could arrive at their office with coffee & donuts - but be prepared that they may be busy, it that is the case make an appointment with them.

You have a valuation issue that is going to require an appraiser who is familiar with your market area. If you've read my posts, you know that the closest appraiser, or the one with the most expertise, may not be the one who is chosen for the appraisal.

The Agent should print out what are called "Client Copies" of the listings for the properties that you & the Agent deem most similar to your home. Client Copies do not have confidential information meant for Agents only. Have the Agent select and print out as many "comps" as are available. You should then take these listing copies and make 5 or 6 sets of copies for you and appraisers who will appraise your property. Yes, I'm saying that you may have to get more than one appraisal because of the market area parameters you presented.

If you don't have comps within a mile, you have a problem because appraisers will tell you that Fannie Mae and lender requirements set a mile as the farthest from which comps can be selected. This is baloney as Fannie Mae states that if an appraiser uses a comp farther away, all they have to do is explain why this comp and/or others have to be used.

You may also get-push back from an appraiser when you try to give them comps. They will say something like they can't accept comps from the borrower. This is also baloney, Fannie Mae states that any data given to an appraiser by a party related to a transaction just has to be verified from a disinterested third party.

Who knows, maybe you'll get an appraiser who not only knows your area well, but who knows how to use comparables that don't fit the narrow lender guidelines and who provides the necessary explanations to get the appraisal accepted.

The most important things that an appraiser should look for in a comp in your area are:

1.) proximity. I already discussed this, but you may find a close-in comp you didn.t know about when you meet with the agent and obtain comps from them.

2.) Similar house size, similar age, similar bedroom and bath count, similar lot size.

3.) Similar amenities like pools, spas, barns, etc.

4.) Yes, I would say in-town comps are "fair game" as you say. However, if your property has several acres and in-town comps are on much smaller lots, this will be an adjustment problem.

5.) With this type of property, comps on the opposite side of town would be, in my mind, "fair game". Opposite side-of-town comps may require a location adjustment, but this is why you would hope for an experienced appraiser.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you get an experienced appraiser. If this answer has been helpful, please give me excellent grades !!!

John C. Carlson  

Real Property Appraisals

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John C. Carlson


Any questions regarding commercial and/or residential appraising, appraisals or real estate valuation such as: appraising as a profession, valuation techniques, comparable sales selection & analysis, the new HVCC and how it affects appraisers & Borrowers. Also, questions like: "Why did my appraisal come in low & what can I do about it?" I cannot answer questions about comparable data in areas in which I do not practice. I have expertise in most areas of So. California.


31-years both commercial and residential valuation experience. State of CA Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, licensed to appraise all property types. FHA Approved. Specialized expertise with historic, architectural & luxury residential property valuation. Experienced in industrial building and small commercial property valuation. Experienced Reviewer of appraisal reports and expertise with intensive forensic reviews to uncover fraudulent appraisal reports. Expert Litigation and Expert Witness experience.

Associate Member of the Appraisal Institute. Associate Member of the Certified Fraud Examiners.

Numerous posts to Blogs. Please "Google" "John C. Carlson Real Estate Appraisals" where a list of responses I have made will show up.

Numerous classes by the Appraisal Institute since 1978 in the practice areas in which I specialize

Past/Present Clients
First Republic Bank Wells Fargo Bank California Bank & Trust Preferred Bank Numerous Attorneys.

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