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“Coaching” the Appraiser Works (if done respectfully)

We have had good luck “coaching appraisers” lately. BUT, the coaching has to be very respectful and professional, with the offering of pertinent information and data. Derision and blatant requests for a specific number get us nowhere.

Remember, generally speaking, an appraiser needs comps that closed within 90 days of the inspection date; that are not 20% larger or smaller than the subject property; and that are within a mile of the subject property. Lot sizes also must be similar.

We had a purchase in Walnut Creek recently involving a 1,000 square foot house on a quarter acre lot that we had great difficulty appraising. The listing agent was upset that we could not use the comps he provided, but one comp was on a flat acre lot; another comp was 3 miles away (but still in Walnut Creek); and two were over 1,400 square feet (comps needed to be 800 to 1,200 square feet). All of the comps that he provided were virtually worthless to the appraiser.

“Negative” Information regarding comparable sales is also extremely helpful. Case in point is our Alamo PUD purchase we referenced yesterday. The subject has a large, flat, 100% usable lot. The two comparable in the development have the same size lots, but they are steeply sloping, making their “effective” lots almost non-existent (they have no backyards). This is something the appraiser would not figure out on his own. The subject’s MUCH larger yard is probably worth $50,000 or more.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167