Appraising in Delaware, the Blog...

Think about a time you went to a well frequented restaurant or bar and you had the best  service, what did you do? Probably told a few friends about it and made sure to go back. You  may have even asked for the same person to serve you. Now think about a time when you had  really rotten service, your waiter or waitress was rude, they forgot things, your order was  wrong and overall your experience left you wanting a whole lot more. What did you do then?  You more than likely told everyone you knew, you wrote reviews and asked for the manager  and swore you would never go back.  

We are no different in our appraisal world, especially is we are working with private/personal  appraisals. In our office we do estates, divorces, potential listing prices and a lot more and  while it is always important to make a good impression while working those personal appraisals  are 100% the most important when it comes to good customer service. They are your repeat  customers and they are the ones who will talk about you to friends and neighbors if they ever  need an appraiser.  

Yes, we won’t always get it right and we cannot make everyone happy but when you do the  work comes to you. And if it’s possible, if there is a bad taste left for a client going the extra  mile in talking to them and explaining how you got to your final number can go a long way. It’s  all about taking time and being up front about information.

Posted by Patti Persia on April 26th, 2021 10:59 AMLeave a Comment

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As I’m sure most appraisers have read throughout a multitude of appraising blogs, and we  know in the back of our minds – we are solitary creatures most of the time. We enjoy being  busy, staying in control and outside of the actual inspection we like to keep our contact with  other people to a minimum – at least face to face. It’s our thing you could say.  

This means that on way too many occasions we are running ourselves ragged and end up  turning down work that could be making us more money, improving relationships with AMC’s  and allowing us to do more personal appraisals for word-of-mouth advertisement.

Of course, there are things that come with having employees like vacation time, teaching them  the ropes, insurance, figuring out how you want to be as a boss – the list is endless. But if you  think about the amount of time even just one employee could save you the benefits are  endless.  

Just picture all of the things you could be handing over to someone else. Answering phones,  setting up appointments, handling the data input, following up with clients – it’s another  endless list of small things that add up big time.  

If you are on the verge of deciding whether or not having staff under you is right, this is your  sign. It doesn’t have to start off big, just one person for even just a few hours a day could be  more than enough to take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Allow you time to breathe  and really dig in further to the parts of appraising that you love. 

Posted in:General and tagged: appraiser
Posted by Patti Persia on April 15th, 2021 9:33 AMLeave a Comment

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March 29th, 2021 11:49 AM

The life of an appraiser is almost always buzzing in one way or another. When your job revolves  around homes and what’s considered new or intriguing you are always on the lookout for the  things that catch your eye. Not to mention an outing to the grocery store can double as a time  to stake out comps or get a feel for a neighborhood you might be doing an appraisal for.  

It’s easy to get wrapped up in go, go, go but at some point, you need to take a break. It’s  important to find something you enjoy and give your mind and body some time to just relax,  especially in this market. At least in our area, we are getting so many requests that we are  struggling to find a place to put them.  

So, if nothing else just schedule an hour of “you” time. Take off your appraiser hat and enjoy  your family, friends, or even a night out on the town so that you can come back the next day  ready to push forward.  

Posted by Patti Persia on March 29th, 2021 11:49 AMLeave a Comment

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The answer to this question isn’t a clear cut yes or no when we think about the words as we know them. To understand what I mean let’s dive a little further into how these words are used.
Condominium is a legal term that shows ownership. A condo can very well be a townhome style home that is owned by the COA (condo owners association). What this means is that while a buyer may own the (town)home the COA owns the land on which the home is built.
Townhomes are a type of architecture and a type of land use. Townhomes are meant to be built on a very small amount of land and then go up instead of out to keep down on land tax costs.
So while they are two very different things (legal ownership vs architecture/land usage) they can be the same thing.

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Posted by Patti Persia on March 22nd, 2021 11:52 AMLeave a Comment

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March 10th, 2021 11:52 AM
It is no surprise that Covid-19 has changed a lot of how we live our lives. And while it has made some changes in the appraising world, we would be lying if we said in some ways it has made it easier.

Prior to covid we typically did our interviews in person. This meant that people were put on the spot and while we love to believe we recorded every single thing someone said we are human and we can all make mistakes. Now that we are into the nitty gritty of covid and we have been using our new interview technique (old fashioned email), we have found that it makes things easier for us. It allows our borrowers and clients the time to really think about each question and it allows us to quickly print it out or pull it up on our computer for reviews.

I know we have talked in the past about whether we need someone there for the appraisal and while it’s totally fine it is important to stay out of the way. The covid standard of 6 feet away and trying to not mingle with people outside of your home has also made things a little easier for us when doing interior inspections.

There have been downsides for all of us but overall I think it has helped us streamline what we do and make it easier and more effective in the long run.

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Posted by Patti Persia on March 10th, 2021 11:52 AMLeave a Comment

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Check out the blog written by The Appraiser Coach at the link below:

In the world today it is all about planning. We see it from the smallest parts of our lives to the biggest choices we have to make - such as selling our homes. From when to sell and when to let the listing go live it all affects the ability to make the best sale. 

Studies have shown that the best time to sell your home is in the spring and early summer. The specific dates will change from state to state but you typically see a faster turnaround time and more money being spent starting around April 1st all the way up to June 15th. You can see trends for 2019 here: . Not only are you going to have better weather during this timeframe and more daylight hours to spend to go out and tour homes for the buyers of these homes, your sellers will have plenty of time to do small but impactful updates to home during the winter hours when people like to stay home anyway. 

The day you list your home can also influence the number of people who will see your home. Listing your home on a Sunday vs a Tuesday could get you up to 20% more views which means you will have a higher chance of these people coming to take a look at your home. 

Two things to look for (aka keep your fingers crossed to see) is local job growth and low mortgage rates! These two things are a sellers dream. Job growth means people are going to be looking for homes closer to their jobs, which in turn means they are going to be willing to pay more for the right home with the right conditions to make things easier for them. Low mortgage rates are a no brainer and will get anyone looking for a home. 

It’s truly about research and knowing your market. Your realtors are there to help you with these thing, it’s their job but as we always like to say it's never a bad idea to do some of your own research so you can make your wants and needs known.

Posted by Patti Persia on January 12th, 2021 11:46 AMLeave a Comment

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December 7th, 2020 11:15 AM

Following up on our last blog What Is Square Footage I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to explain how to calculate the square footage of your home/rooms. Square footage is going to be calculated in some way, shape or form by your listing agent. Since there are multiple ways for this to happen it is never a bad idea to do the calculations on your own in case you have questions about their numbers. 

Let’s start by calculating on your own. All you have to do is measure room by room the length times the width and you have the square footage of the room. So, lets say your room is 20x20. This means your square footage for that room is 400 square feet. Once you go through each room in your home you can add up the numbers and you will have your total square footage for the home. 

Now we move on to the different ways your listing agent could choose to figure out the total square footage. They could, like you visit and measure each room. They can also measure around the outside base of the house. Using the foundation size they should be able to calculate the square footage. Last but not least, they can rely on government records or past MLS listings - this leaves a lot of room for mistakes as this will not take into account any updates that have been done. 

No matter what way it is done by your listing agent there is always room for inaccuracies which is why it is not a bad idea to do your own measurements. This allows you to know when to speak up and ask questions about how they got the square footage they did. You can find out what they included and what they didn’t, which could easily differ from what you included.

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Posted by Patti Persia on December 7th, 2020 11:15 AMLeave a Comment

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November 30th, 2020 11:21 AM

When buying or selling a home it can be difficult to navigate and pinpoint exactly what is included in your square footage. Most people would count attics and basements but that is not always the case. It is very dependent on how the home has been kept up and what upgrades have been done over the years. This means that two similar homes in the same neighborhood could have two incredibly different square footage. 

So what are the requirements to be counted as square footage? The space needs to have flooring, wallcovering, ceiling and the ability to be lived in 365 days a year. The last one is typically where things get a bit more confusing. This means that it needs to have windows and heat capability. The confusing thing is that staircases, pantries and closets can be counted as square footage - even though you can’t technically live in them. 

So when would a basement or attic become true square footage? The easy answer is that it has to meet the requirements on square footage. The more technical answer is that it is all based off of where you live and what your state decides to count as square footage. Attics must also need to be accessible by a conventional stairway. 

This also brings up the questions about whether or not a bedroom in the basement can be considered an actual bedroom when you pull up information on the home. Just because you can count your basement in the square footage (if your state guidelines allow) does not mean you automatically get to add in a basement bedroom. There will be requirements by state/city - like windows or being a walk in type basement - that would then allow you to count it as an extra room. 

While your real estate agent should be up to date on what counts as square footage and what doesn’t it never hurts to do your own research. Different areas can have different guidelines and you want to be as knowledgeable as possible. This will help you understand the different valuations of your home and allow you to ask the right questions.

Posted by Patti Persia on November 30th, 2020 11:21 AMLeave a Comment

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  • Appraised value is an evaluation of a property’s value based on a given point of time. It is the value that the interested buyers bank or mortgage company places on the property. 

  • Assessed value determines the value of a residence for tax purposes and takes comparable home sales and inspections into consideration. It is the price placed on a home by the corresponding government municipality to calculate property taxes. Your assessed value will typically be less than the market value because they are only looking at a certain amount to tax you on (typically 80 - 90% of what your market value would be). 

  • Market value is the most probable price that property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale. In plain english it is the price that a buyer is willing to pay for a home, and a seller is willing to accept. 

As home buyers/owners and sellers it is important to know how these all fit into the value of your home. The lower end of the valuation should typically be the assessed value since it is only a percentage of what the home is worth. The appraised value may come in a little higher or lower than the market value but the final say on the value of your home is almost always the market value. It will more than likely end up being your purchase/selling price at the end of the day. These numbers will all come together to give you a fair price and allow you to feel comfortable in what you are selling/purchasing.

Posted by Patti Persia on November 20th, 2020 11:17 AMLeave a Comment

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