Delaware's residents, particularly those in Kent County, find themselves at the forefront of a significant statewide reassessment of property values. The
overarching goal of this reassessment is not to manipulate tax rates but rather to achieve a more equal distribution of the tax burden among property owners. Kent County, having fewer properties to review, stands ahead in this endeavor, nearing completion
of the reassessment.
Tyler Technologies, the overseeing entity in Kent County, is actively engaged in the reassessment process, conducting informal hearings until mid-January.
During this period, property owners receive "tentative values" for their properties, representing the assessed values within the ongoing reassessment. Residents must engage with this information actively and, if necessary, question the valuations to ensure
In instances where property owners find discrepancies in the assessed values, an appraisal becomes a valuable tool. McFarlane's emphasis on accuracy underscores
the importance of using an appraisal only when property owners believe the assessment amount is incorrect. In such cases, an appraisal serves as evidence to prove the actual value of homes to the county. As property owners navigate the complex landscape of
tax reassessments, staying informed and understanding the role of appraisals becomes crucial. Proactivity in questioning valuations ensures that discrepancies, if any, are addressed, and an appraisal becomes a powerful instrument to demonstrate the accurate
value of a property, aligning tax assessments closely with market realities.
here is no doubt that the things that we consume/buy such as gas, food,
homes, etc fluctuate constantly. What are the driving forces behind them? How does it all connect with appraising?
all about math and calculations. Every single thing that we purchase has a price that is set by supply and demand, quality, cost to make among other things. And each company has to calculate this information alongside what their hard/soft costs for the company
to determine their pricing. This plays exactly into what we need to do as appraisers so that we can afford the costs of the job and still bring back money for our families.
are hard and soft costs? Hard costs are the things that are always there and never really change (they follow the typical increases but you can plan these out). Think about your office rental, payroll, MLS/AMC Fees and other bills. The soft costs are harder
to plan for, they are your gas (to and from the inspection sites), taxes, paper and ink fees, etc. It’s easiest if you go back and look over 3-4 months of costs to get an idea of what your costs are. It can be in depth and take some time but it is honestly
worth it, especially if you are new to the business.
also smart to think about the competition. You don’t want to be the lowest quote but you typically don’t want to be the highest either. Most people will look for someone in the middle because the saying “you get what you pay for” is so true! You just don’t
want to outbid yourself.
you add these together you can begin to piece together, which won’t happen overnight, a pricing for your appraisals that will get things paid and also allow you to bring home a check. Obviously, over time you will be able to have more wiggle room in your pricing
because you will have the time and work to show that you know your stuff! You may be surprised how much a $10 - $25 increase can help you out in the long run and when you have proven your worth your customers will be willing to pay the money.
Communication is key in our daily
lives, it helps us move forward, get things done and conquer each day. Without communication we would be constantly running into our friends or families plans, misunderstanding them and generally having a difficult time.
see it all the time in the appraisal world, even when we have good communication the clients want to know everything. They want to know when appointments are scheduled, when the inspection is done, when you think you will be getting the report back among a
number of other things. And the emails ping in daily asking you about all of these things can get overwhelming, especially if you are working without an assistant.
they trust you to get the work done when you promised? Isn’t it annoying that they are constantly breathing down your neck? Sure! It would be a big fat lie if I said no. But the saying “one bad apple ruins the bunch” is true. We may be doing all we can to
get our work submitted in a timely manner and we may be updating as much as possible but even still the emails come in because at some point someone cut corners and now we must all be reminded.
while it can be difficult and sometimes angering to get an update email for the 4th or 5th time just grin and bear it. Communicate as openly as possible and keep doing the hard work you know you can do. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask for more from the clients
who tend to make working for them a little more difficult. Ask for an extra $50 or $100 when you know that your time will be taken up by questions and revisions and emails that might not actually be needed. Your time is precious, get what you deserve.
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.
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
Checking the accounting and following up on any overdue payments
Updating E&O, coverage, upcoming vacation times and other information with AMC’s
Update email templates
Update social media
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?
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
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
ready to take on any report they might send your way if at all possible.
3. Keep You Work Manageable (Know Your Limits)
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
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
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!
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
- 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!!).
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!
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
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!!