Harder than it looks


By Kathy Henne



With real estate markets changing so rapidly, it’s easy to imagine how property appraisers might sit in a darkened room, waving their hands over a crystal ball, and producing the mysterious and all-powerful document of a home’s value. Let’s dispel the notion of magic wands and look more carefully at the process.

When comparing your home against similar properties, it’s not just the final price that counts. Appraisers also may factor in any “incentives” offered, such as seller paid closing costs.

One of the factors that lenders review in an appraisal is the closing dates for the “comparables” (other homes by which yours is measured.) Unfortunately, with today’s stricter lending requirements, most “comps” must have sold within the last 60 or 90 days to carry weight. Markets change so quickly that any sale price over a few months old may be completely irrelevant.

Now a few words about how foreclosures in a neighborhood affect the determination of value. Technically, appraisers shouldn’t consider them, because they don’t fit the Appraisal Institute’s definition of “a property reasonably exposed in a competitive market.” However, if several area homes have been abandoned, we know the negative effect that can have on a home’s “perceived” value to buyers.

If you’re planning to sell, express your concerns about the appraisal process to your representative, who will offer explanations and suggestions for improving your report’s results.

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By Kathy Henne

Contact the Kathy Henne Team RE/MAX FINEST by calling (937) 778-3961.

Contact the Kathy Henne Team RE/MAX FINEST by calling (937) 778-3961.

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