Appraising in Delaware, the Blog...

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/



 

The quick and easy answer is yes they can. I know it may be difficult news to swallow because typically being an appraiser gives you a lot of wiggle room on everything from schedule to fees and even dress codes. It’s a good job to be in if you like to make your own decisions. 


Now this will vary from AMC to AMC and will be a much bigger issue in cities or towns with higher profile people. On average, our appraiser here in Delaware can do as she pleases with her dress code, especially during covid because a lot of the homes are empty or she has been doing a lot of drive by appraisals. We also don’t have a ton of celebrities or billionaires who may require a more professional look here in Delaware, although we do our best to be professional no matter the client. 


The one good thing is that as business owners and the one in control of the appraisals, we can say no if we feel the AMC’s are asking too much. Yes, we may be losing a client or appraisal fee or an AMC depending on how strict the ask is (are they going to ask this every time or was it a one time deal). But there are a ton of AMC’s, local banks and even personal appraisals that will come along. 


So do what feels right to you as the appraiser. If the AMC is asking for a suit and tie and it’s because it’s a high profile individual that will typically mean more work for you in the long run - not just the comfort of choosing your clothes so if you think you deserve more in compensation ask. If you don’t want to do it, just say no.



Posted by Patti Persia on February 1st, 2021 11:06 AMLeave a Comment

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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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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. 



October 13th, 2020 11:53 AM
Although you may not always get a choice in your appraiser, there are instances where you do. It can be difficult to know who to go with, and although you may think there is no wrong answer, you may want to think again.

Clients who are needing appraisals for estates, refinancing, divorces, etc. will get to do some research and have the ability to “shop around”. What you may not think about while doing so is finding a local appraiser versus someone better known in an area that is not close to where you are.

Hometown appraisers have an in-depth knowledge about the area the home is located in. They know where the best schools are, if areas are safe and they will even have better personal insight into the things that are most attractive about the town and surrounding areas. They can also easily get firsthand experience with the areas and drive through the towns to have a better grasp of what neighboring houses look like.

Sure, all things can be googled but when you have someone who knows the ins and outs of your neighborhood, close attractions and has probably seen other homes in your area it would be tough to beat the amount of knowledge they can bring to your appraisal.

This isn’t to say appraisers cannot travel for work. There are unique opportunities where unusual properties may pop up and finding an appraiser with certain credentials would be beneficial.

The fact of the matter is, finding someone who is informed about the area is important. It also takes time to perfect the craft of appraising, since there is no 100% correct formula, the amount of time in the business can really make a difference between a poor appraisal versus an exceptional appraisal.

Posted by Patti Persia on October 13th, 2020 11:53 AMLeave a Comment

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5 Reasons Your Real Estate Appraisal Matters

Getting an appraisal back within a reasonable time frame can make or break a deal. If you’re in a rural area or in an area where the real estate market is booming, you could wait up to 3 weeks or more just to get the appraisal results. This can be even more frustrating if the appraised value comes in low or repairs are needed.

Right now there are even some areas in the country where appraisers are flat out declining appraisal orders because they know they do not have the capacity to turn the appraisal report around in a timely manner.

When the purchase contract states that the deal needs to close within 45 days, and it takes 40 days to get appraisal results, expect an extension to the purchase agreement.

Condition

If you’re getting a mortgage, the property needs to meet some basic standards for the lender to give the thumbs up on acceptable property condition.

Common property condition issues that pop up on appraisals and cause issues: mold in the attic or basement, peeling paint on the outside of the home or garage, trip hazards, broken windows, and missing fixtures.

Anything noticeably wrong with the property is likely to be pointed out on the appraisal report including photos. When there are repairs noted on the appraisal the seller will need to complete those repairs prior to closing, and the property needs to be reinspected by the same appraiser to confirm the requested repairs have been made.

Comparables

When coming up with an opinion of value, the appraiser selects recently sold homes within the market that are similar in size/condition/location/amenities.

The appraiser then compares those homes with the subject property and makes adjustments based on differences and similarities between the homes.

For example: if the subject property is a 3 bed, 2 bath ranch on .5 acre, the appraiser would look to include 3 bed, 2 bath ranches that sit on a .5 acre lot. The appraiser would not be including a 3 bed, 2 bath condominium.

It doesn’t have to be identical and size and condition, but it does need to be the same property type. Unique properties can be very difficult to finance. If there are no similar properties sold within a reasonable distance and time frame (underwriter discretion) the deal could be dead. There is also a limit to how much an appraiser can make adjustments on value based on the differences in homes.

If the adjustments made are too high, the comparable property used could be considered irrelevant or unacceptable and would need to be replaced by a better comparable if possible.

Confidence

For some buyers the appraised value can have an impact on their ego.

Let’s say you get under contract on a house for $300,000 and it appraises for $380,000. There might be an increased warm and fuzzy feeling knowing you got a good deal. Another confidence booster in a case like this is that if you’re going to be paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) due to a low down payment, you may be able to refinance in a year and then use the new appraised value to drop your PMI (which could save you hundreds of dollars a month).

Knowing that you have instant equity in the home that you already loved to begin with can really add a nice cherry on top.

Compliance

The collateral (the house) used to secure the mortgage must comply with lender guidelines.

One of the biggest issues when talking about compliance has to do with finding out if the home is a non-warrantable condo (does not apply to single family homes). If the property is a condominium the appraiser will reveal information pertaining to the number of units that are owned by 1 entity, number of units that are not complete, and other important information about the condo that could cause issues. [more on non-warrantable condos here]

Another fairly common issue that can come up as a compliance issue is number of acres the property sits on. Depending on what type of loan program you’re seeking, there may be an issue with giving any value to acreage beyond 10-20 acres. For someone buying a 50 acre property, this can be a deal breaker if most of the value is in the land.

If the appraisal states subject property was recently was sold, there could also be flipping restrictions depending on what type of loan you’re seeking.

The appraisal can clearly make or break the deal in several unique ways other than home value.


January 4th, 2018 11:17 AM

When we go out to a home to do an inspection, there are 2 main things we need to do: measure the GLA (gross living area) and take photographs of every room. Here are some reasons why we measure:
1. We are required to measure by the lender.
It is a requirement that any appraisal for a federal loan include a sketch of the subject property with labelled rooms. 
2. Double check that GLA and county records match.
This is usually not a problem with homes built within the last 10 years, but if there is a large discrepancy between the appraiser's measurement and county records, it can be a flag for additions (unpermitted or sometimes permitted additions that have not been added to county records).
3. Does the floor plan flow?
By measuring we are able to determine things we may otherwise miss. For example, when measuring a home that has an addition, we determined that the master bedroom was only accessible by walking through another bedroom. Doing a sketch and labeling the floor plans, helps us notice these things.


October 5th, 2017 3:35 PM

The appraiser won't know what your home is worth the second he walks in the door...What can you do to help the appraiser? Here are 4 things you can do:

1. Prep your space - declutter, dust, and mop beforehand to show your home in its best light. Also, inform all occupants that an appraiser is coming so everyone is up and out of bed! Appraisers don't judge cleanliness but a neat, organized home might help you.

2. Get your paperwork in order - gather all the information you have about the house and have it ready for the appraiser. Have a list of major improvements as well as detailed info about the age and condition of the roof, HVAC systems, and major appliances. This will be very helpful!

3. Don't put too much stock in home improvements - We're sure your brand-new kitchen is stunning, but don't be surprised if it doesn't proportionally raise your home's market value. If you spent $50,000, you're likely to see only a fraction of that returned in value.

4. Be honest - Before listing, make sure you and your realtor take a realistic look at what your home actually offers. It might be tempting to pad some square footage here and there. However, your appraiser won't be fooled, so it's best to always be truthful.


August 23rd, 2017 2:20 PM

10 ways to boost the value of your home.
1. Paint Your Home

Choosing the right shade of paint can actually help you sell your home. A current color scheme adds to its appeal and can prompt a faster sale.

2. Clean Up The Lawn

Another great technique to boost your home value is cleaning up the lawn. Make sure the lawn is mowed, raked, and trimmed. The first thing potential buyers see is your curb appeal.

3. Create Space

A trick of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home is creating space. Anything that opens up the space will make the home appear bigger and brighter.

4. Light

Make sure your home feels light and airy. A room full of light feels bigger.

There are many techniques you can use to make a room lighter:

Paint the ceiling white
Choose a color scheme of light
Maximize natural light
Keep window dressing light and simple
Open up shades to let light in
5. Flooring

Consider adding wood, tiles, or natural stones for flooring options to add value to your home. A quick way to boost the value of your home is by adding hardwood floors. The number one thing buyers are frequently looking for are hardwood floor and it can help sell your home faster.

6. Power Wash Paths And Siding

Give the outside of your home an uplift by power washing the paths and sidings. In addition, regular pressure washing can prevent costly future repairs and renovations. Using a power wash will help remove mold, mildew, and algae from your home.

7. Update The Bathrooms

Make sure to fix any damage walls, cracked tiles, and add fresh paint. Updating an old bathroom will help you to sell your home faster and avoid price negotiations.

8. Give Appliances A Facelift

Want to get as much money as you can from your home? Make sure all the appliances are updated. The appliances must be stainless steel.

9. Clean Home

Make sure your home is clean. Get rid of limescale and remove all clutter. If your home is dirty, buyers will have a hard time envisioning themselves in the home.

10. Stage Home

Appearance is everything. Successfully staging is the key to selling your home quickly and making each room appeal to homebuyers.


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