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“Charming” the Appraiser to Get Value

We have a $915,000 FHA Purchase of a Duplex in Rockridge (Oakland). The appraisal was a huge concern because there are few comparable sales to “bracket” the upper end of that market. The buyer’s agent, however, met the appraiser at the property and pretty much charmed the daylights out of her, doing everything short of washing her car and picking up her dry-cleaning. He provided ample comparable sales data, and he very calmly and rationally offered suggestions as to how the value could be supported. The agent is also just a very nice, sharp and congenial guy.

Long Story Short: the appraisal came in at value (to support the sales price), much to everyone’s surprise.

Along the same line, we received an email from an appraiser friend, with 25 years of experience, about a month ago, reminding us of the same thing: be nice to the appraiser. Some good data, a little charm, and a friendly discussion go a long way.

This is all in contrast to our deal that was killed last fall in Lafayette; a very rude and surly homeowner met the appraiser, and the value came in $100,000 lower than expected.

No matter how smart, good or objective appraisers are, they are still human. And no matter how concrete the data may be, there is still room for much subjective reasoning. A little bit of charm towards an appraiser can do far more good than most people realize.

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