One of the services that an appraiser provides is a home measurement sketch of the property. This service can be quite valuable prior to listing a home for sale, particularly in the greater Portland, Oregon area, since county records are often incorrect and square footage is often the most important factor (aside from location) that determines value. The benefit of having a home measured prior to listing is something that one of my clients knows firsthand.
A couple weeks ago, David Axness, Principal Broker at Axness & Kofman contacted me to measure a property that he was listing. Portland Maps indicates that this property has a little over 2,000 square feet of living space based on Multnomah County Assessor records. After careful checking, my measurement concluded that the property has 471 more square feet, which could result in a sales price that is as much as fifteen percent higher. David said, “I wasn’t able to list it for more, but we went from having no showings at all to several and got an offer.”
This is an extreme example of how inaccurate county records can be around Portland. Most of the time, if the county records are off, it is only by a smaller amount. However, no seller would want to lose even one percent of the sales price just because the home was not professionally measured. Even if the appraiser measures lower than county records, checking the size can be a good thing.
Imagine that a buyer contracts to purchase a house, and the lender’s appraiser finds that it is not as large as advertised. This could result in a low appraisal, a troublesome failed sale, or a buyer that has new negotiating leverage. If the lender’s appraiser doesn’t discover the discrepancy, the agent or seller could have liability, despite the disclosures that agents routinely place in listings.
Did I leave anything out or do you want to join in the conversation? Let me know in the comments below.
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