Clients who are outside my Greater Portland, Oregon
appraisal service area often ask, “How do I select a real estate
appraiser?” My answer is that not
all appraisers are the same and that you should select carefully. This is because value opinions reported in
appraisals are extremely important with the potential to affect the lives and
wealth of the people who use them.
Homeowners typically cannot choose the appraiser when
buying a house or refinancing; that task is usually the responsibility of the
lender or an appraisal management company.
However, when obtaining an appraisal for setting a list price for your
property, when purchasing a property from a friend, in the event of a divorce
or a death in the family, or for any reason other than a loan, homeowners must
select the appraiser. Here is a list of ways
to narrow the search for a home appraiser.
in the property type and location of the home being appraised is important. I recommend asking prospective appraisers the
following three questions. “How often do
you appraise in my neighborhood?” “How
long have you appraised in my neighborhood?” “Have you appraised any properties similar to mine?”
involvement in or designation from professional organizations like the Appraisal Institute or National Association of Independent Fee
Appraisers are good indicators of appraisers who hold themselves to
high standards in their profession. Less
than half of all real estate appraisers belong to a professional
organization. Searching for an appraiser
from the website of these organizations is a good way to begin your search for
traveled to the subject property can be a good indicator of competence. Appraisers who must travel a long distance
might be qualified, but these appraisers would likely have to work harder to
maintain competency than an appraiser who lives in or near your community.
are accustomed to providing work samples to prospective clients and typically
have work samples on hand that they have permission to disclose or have blacked
out any private information to satisfy appraiser confidentiality rules. You may not be an expert at recognizing a less
than credible appraisal, but comparing work samples from
appraisers can show the level professionalism and care that is put into the
to make sure that your appraiser is licensed or certified and does not have any
disciplinary actions. Your state
appraiser licensing board can help, or you can search the Appraisal
Registry. Note that not
all disciplinary actions will show on the Appraisal Subcommittee site, so it is
a good idea to check with your state.
Once you have weighed all of the above, consider the appraisal
fee and the turn-time. Hire the
appraiser that impresses you the most overall.
Did I leave anything out, or do you want to join in the
conversation? Let me know in the
comments section below.
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