Appraising in Delaware, the Blog...

August 4th, 2021 11:23 AM

Appraising is a business that includes busy times as well as slower times and it’s always a good idea to have a back up list of “to do’s” for the times when there is a lull in the work coming in. Especially when you have employees working underneath you that are there to help out. You are paying them, usually hourly, and you want to get something out of that. 


The list doesn’t have to be incredibly specific but should give an outline of the most important things to work on and then it can trickle down to the less important stuff that usually won’t get touched by most, if any of your employees, because every slow down picks back up. 


Here are a few things we do around the office when things slow down for us:


  • Checking the accounting and following up on any overdue payments

  • Blogs

  • Updating E&O, coverage, upcoming vacation times and other information with AMC’s 

  • Update email templates

  • Update social media

  • Organize folders

  • Delete/Organize files that are no longer used

  • Clean office area and desks

  • Check in with other blogs to see what peers are saying


Anything that can help things move smoother when the appraisals start rolling in and allow your employees to be an asset to the company are always worth adding to the list. What are some of your back up list items?



July 1st, 2021 11:38 AM

Working with AMCs is not something you can easily get past in the appraisal world these days. Here are a few tips to help you get more requests, better pay and a higher rating with the AMCs that you are using. 


1. Update them Frequently


Being routine in your updates, say for appointments or completing inspections, so that they are always in the know. You can choose to do them at a specific time each day or you can find someone to help you with these (perfect reason to hire an assistant!). Keeping your AMCs up to date will make their lives easier and will help you build a good relationship with them


2. Be Ready to Say Yes


Be ready to take on any report they might send your way if at all possible. 


3. Keep You Work Manageable (Know Your Limits)


Don’t say yes to more than what you can do in a timely manner and don’t make your coverage area too wide. If you take on more than you think you can do you will run yourself thin and your turn times and work will struggle. And, it is much better to have a small area that you cover and can become well versed in rather than a larger work area and you know little about the areas. Also, when you are covering a larger amount of space your appointments will inevitably end up being further and further away from each other, taking time away from you completing the reports. 


4. Respond Quickly and Completely to Revision Requests


Scores will be given out on how many revisions you get and how quickly they are fixed. AMCs do not want to have to continually resend requests for updates. Most of all, be polite and professional when responding. They will thank you for this. 


5. Keep Your Profile Up to Date


Knowing when your insurance/E&O and license update and make sure you let the AMCs know when they change. Also, let them know when you are coming up on breaks/vacations where you will not be available to take on new work. Depending on how many AMCs you work with this can be timely so if you have an assistant have them do the work for you!



Posted in:Appraiser and tagged: appraiserappraisalAMC
Posted by Patti Persia on July 1st, 2021 11:38 AMLeave a Comment

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June 15th, 2021 11:25 AM
Appraisers are looking for an array of things that can help them calculate the overall price of your home. They are there to review everything from the outside to the inside of your home. They may even use other homes in the area to compare to your home to.

The most important parts of the home are going to be the foundation, roof and walls. The simple explanation is that without those three things being in tip top shape a home can become inhabitable quickly. A foundation problem can cause issues with your doors, walls and can lead to settling or further cracking of the foundation. The roof must be in working condition to help prevent leaks, it can also stop the rusting of drains and fireplaces or mold on surfaces of the home.

The size of property will also have an effect on the price of a home. First and foremost, the more land you have the more space you have to a bigger home, which means you have the ability to have more bedrooms and bathrooms in the home. These extra bedrooms and bathrooms can quickly add up. A larger lot also means you have room for additions such as a pool, garage, deck, etc.

Updates in the home will also add equity to the home. These do not need to be time consuming or expensive updates. A simple update to paint jobs, light fixtures, floors, windows or countertops can really impress those who see them. You also don’t want to forget that things like pools, fireplaces, garages and even security systems can increase the price of your home.

A homes location and age are also very important. A safe, central location to schools, beaches and cities are desired. People want to have a home that feels safe to be in, especially when they are a growing family. Being close to desirable areas is also important because people want to be able to get to places such as stores, hospitals and even vacation spots or airports without too much trouble.

When all of these things come together appraisers are able to calculate a fair price for the home you are looking to buy or sell. They must take everything into consideration, the good and the bad. So when you are going into a buying or selling a home it is important to keep all of these things on your radar so you can know where the appraiser will be looking.

I’m not sure that there is an answer specifically for that question. It’s all in what an appraiser  wants to get out of their business. Most of the time appraisers are their own boss, they make  the rules and so they can set certain criteria for when and how they want to work. They are the  rule makers for their minimum bid.  

Now these may be different for each appraiser but for my office we are looking at these things  while making a bid – no matter the type: 

- Scope of Work 

- Who’s the Client? 

- Are they easy to work with? 

- Do we get a lot of work from them? 

- What is our current demand? 

- How far away/Distance to subject? 

- Is there anything complex about the assignment (we tend to stay away from these but  there is certainly a price/time for such assignments) 

- Are they waterfront? 

Again, this is not the end all be all list for our office but it’s the beginning stages of how we  decide what we want to charge. You have to know your worth and don’t be afraid to ask for it.  On the flip side, don’t be afraid to go a little lower every now and then when the work is easy (you know you’ve had homes that were almost identical to a recent report you’ve done at least  once!!). 



Posted by Patti Persia on June 2nd, 2021 11:52 AMLeave a Comment

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May 10th, 2021 11:55 AM

We all own homes of some sort, right? And it’s easy to forget, as an appraiser, that as  homeowners even we get excited about upgrades to our homes that might not have an effect  on the price of our home. We’ve all had those borrowers who want to show us every new  gadget or upgrade they might have – from a new pool to something as small as a new fan.  

It’s true that those may not mean anything to us when we are wearing our appraiser hats but  think back to a fun upgrade you’ve made in your home. Was it new lighting? New paint?  Honestly it can be anything but whatever it was made you happy and gave your home  something new that could bring you joy.  

Our job is to be as even keel as possible when it comes to naming our final price for the home,  but it doesn’t hurt to enjoy the borrower’s happiness for their new upgrade. You might even  get an idea for your own home!  



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

https://theappraisercoach.com/how-do-the-presence-or-absence-of-sex-offenders-affect-appraised-value/



While this answer might surprise you it’s not a simple yes - it’s more of an "if you are lucky". Pools are great, we all have a moment in the heart of summer when we really wish we could walk out our back door and jump directly into a pool. The heat gets to us and we would give anything for a pool. BUT - you have to take time to think about the whole picture and not just that sparkling cool water you want to jump into. 


If you have the right situation you can make upwards of 7% more with a pool included in your home. Here are some of the ways the pool could actually make your home more valuable. 

  • You live in a neighborhood that is higher end and most homes also have swimming pools

  • The style of the pool fits with your home and neighborhood

  • The pool does not take up your whole yard, leaving room for other things such as swing sets or room for other activities. 

  • The pool has been kept up nicely and looks new

  • You live in a climate where it can be used year round (looking at your florida, Hawaii and even places like Arizona and California to name a few)

  • It’s been customized to also be an enclosed pool (just to piggyback off of the last one reason)

  • You have buyers who want a pool


Outside of what it will add to the home, you have to think of the money you will spend to get the pool there and then what the upkeep is. For the pool to be installed you could be looking at anything from $25,000 - $35,000+ for the install. Then you have monthly expenses such as chemicals (which could range up to $100+) a month and seasonal expenses such as opening and shutting the pool. If you have someone coming out to open and close the pool it can cost $500+ each visit.


Overall the cost of the pool probably won’t be paid back in a monetary way, especially if you add up the monthly and seasonal costs and add it all in. The important thing to think of though, is that it adds value to your life and family if it is something you truly want. So if it’s important to you and you believe it adds depth to your life and the memories you can make in the home we say - DO IT!!



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: https://www.zillow.com/research/early-may-best-time-to-list-23044/ . 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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January 4th, 2021 10:57 AM
Having a stranger come into your home can be uneasy on the best of days, but knowing you have an appraiser coming in to look around your home can have even the most relaxed people feeling a little anxious. It is always best to have a quick checklist to go over to help calm anxiety.

The most important thing you can do is to clean, so lets start there. It seems simple enough but a clean home will give off a completely different vibe than one that has not be thoroughly cleaned. If a home has piles of laundry laying around, dishes in the sink or paperwork on the counters it can be hard to fully see the home for how beautiful it could be. It is a huge distraction and does not allow the appraiser to take in the home completely. A good deep clean can make a world of difference.

Along with cleaning it’s never a bad idea to do some landscaping and cleaning up outside either. The landscape itself is not technically a part of the process, but having a clean yard, the grass cut, trimmed trees and some fresh mulch will also make things easier for everyone involved. Pictures are taken on both the inside and outside of the home and are quick reminders to the appraiser of the home. You will want these pictures to be a reminder of how beautiful your home is.

If you have any easy and quick repairs that you can do it would be another boost to the overall look. It can be as easy as replacing a missing board in a fence or repainting scuff marks on the wall. These repairs do not need to take days or cost you a ton of money, just remember that 30 minutes of your time here and there can really make a difference. There is a $500 rule you hear about in the appraising world; this rule says that most appraisers will measure the value of your home in increments of $500 and a few hours spent repairing a few different things can add $500 to the overall appraisal. Do that a couple of times and you are gaining or losing a good chunk of money.

Know the worth of your work. These days homeowners are always upgrading or finding ways to better their home. If you keep track of these upgrades and their costs you can easily share them with your appraiser. These can include, but are not limited to pools, appliances, solar panels and decks.

In these trying days of covid things have changed a bit for all of us and that does include appraisers. It was typical for appraisers to come in and interview homeowners to find out all of the information that they needed, and it was easy to know that someone would be home for access to the home. Now appraisers are typically doing most, if not all, of the interview process via phone calls, emails or texting. Be prepared for different modes of communication and remember to keep in touch – it can be difficult to get and keep the ball rolling if you aren’t able to be contacted easily.

Education is important no matter what field you go into, including appraising. It is not something that can be easily picked up without proper training and practice. While the jobs may differ you can try to think of it this way – Licensed Appraiser versus Certified Appraiser can compare to a veterinary assistant and veterinary technician or a pharmacy technician and a licensed pharmacy technician. They jobs are similar in what they handle but the more training they have done the more knowledgeable they are. 

A licensed residential appraiser is the first level of appraising, you are able to appraise one to four-unit residential structure for up to $1,000,000 and other complex structures that are less than $250,000. After you become licensed you can take further coursework to become certified. Certified appraisers can appraise all one to four-unit residential structures and complex structures that go past limitations that licensed appraisers may have. This means certified appraisers have more wiggle room in what they can look at and appraise. 

You want someone who has all their I's dotted and T's crossed and is going to give you the best appraisal possible. This can truly only happen through furthering their education, where they get fine tuned training to help them do what only they can do - be an unbiased party who gives information on the home to prove a valuation of the property. 



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